With the arrival of new Vice Principal Rachel Romero at Fernie Secondary School, students now have the opportunity to access coaching for cross-country running. Since mid-September, students have been training up to three times a week after school. Romero brings with her a background of track and cross-country running at the national level. She has guided students through technique, strength and fitness building. She receives assistance from community volunteer Helen McAllister. On October 15, eight FSS competitors traveled to the Kimberley Nordic Trails for the East Kootenay Zone race. Hosted by Selkirk Secondary, the race had Junior competitors in grades 7-10 cover a single-loop 3.6km course over rolling terrain. Undeterred by the snow and muddy conditions, the five FSS students in grades 7 and 8 battled against older competitors and placed very respectably in the field. Riley Prentice in grade 7 had the best showing coming in 8th behind all older competitors, with Devon MacGregor, Sienna Ross, and Haley Qualizza not far behind. Hudson Hare represented with perseverance in the Junior Boys category. Three Senior Girls (grade 11-12) ran a double-loop 6km course. The international students, visiting from Germany and Spain in grade 11, showed grit and determination in unfamiliar conditions. Lotte Krallinger captured a 5th place finish while Julia Cases Bazarra and Maxima Fechner rounded out the competition with strong performances.
On November 2, the top high school cross-country runners in B.C. congregated in Abbotsford for the 2019 Provincial Championships. All three Senior Girls competed with over 200 fellow competitors in perfect racing conditions. They ran a series of loops over grassy hills for five kilometres. The international students will never forget their experience, which was a highlight of their time in Canada.
Despite a short season, the students are keen to continue with training and many are already dreaming of bigger goals for next year’s season.