Mallaig claims sixth straight provincial cross-country banner
The Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association held its provincial cross-country championships in Red Deer last weekend, with Ecole Mallaig School picking up its sixth banner in as many years.
Ecole Mallaig School registered 1,020.50 points at the event in the 1A grouping to continue their cross-country legacy with another provincial banner.
“It means that they work hard. It means they run lots, they run hills, they run long distances. I think that’s what you need; you need students who are dedicated to running,” said École Mallaig School cross-country coach Ian MacGillivray. “Once you’ve won a few in a row, they want to make sure they keep the legacy going. I think that’s important to our students.”
Temperatures were resting at around two degrees throughout the day, but MacGillivray noted Mallaig runners were not hindered by the elements as they were dressed for the frigid conditions. In fact, many even posted personal bests at the event.
“I generally don’t look at those who stuck out, I look at the team as a whole and how they ran and did they put in personal bests . . . I think that’s how you create good runners,” MacGillivray said.
“To see our students run their personal bests, you have to make sure you congratulate them . . . I think it’s important for students to know that we recognize the effort that they put in when they run.”
Glendon School finished the event with 488.15 points to claim third place in the 1A grouping, a ranking in which coach Daryn Galatiuk takes pride.
“We had set some team goals at the beginning of the year. We had said that we wanted to be top three in the province. We knew we were in tough with Mallaig, who had a very strong program again this year,” Galatiuk said, extending congratulations to Mallaig on “another fantastic season.”
Glendon was sitting in second place for the majority of the day, but Galatiuk added that New Norway had four particularly strong male runners that overtook Glendon’s position in the final race of the event.
“For us, it’s about consistency of the program. Over the past six years, we’ve either been second or third in the province with the cross-country running program,” Galatiuk said, adding that the majority of Glendon’s runners exceeded expectations at the event.
“It says a lot about our school, about our kids and their determination, especially on these cold, frigid running days that they’ve been experiencing. It’s fantastic and next year, we hope to be in the same exact position.”
In the 3A grouping, St. Paul Regional High School managed a third place finish with 1,044.50 points, which coach Hank Smid noting the school’s running team generally finishes second or third in the province.
Smid added that the Red Deer course shared similarities to Westcove where students competed in the Zone Championships earlier this month, but that Red Deer provided a heftier challenge.
“I’d say all the kids ran as hard as they could and did what their coaches asked them to do. We’re proud of them for the efforts that they put forth,” Smid said.
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