This year the championship came close to home at Etobicoke Centennial Park. Many of our runners had run over the parks terrain during their school city finals competition, however, host club Etobicoke TFC set out new paths and challenges for our athletes to navigate.
The club doubled its presence at the championship compared to a year ago, sending a strong stable of twelve runners to the Championship.
The first to race as a Mite (7/8yr olds), was Chloe Pilz. This was Chloe's second meet, having already competed in Pickering earlier in the season. She ran to a well deserved 14th place, and was the 4th 7 year old to finish the race with the 8 year olds.
Two Boardwalkers participated in the mite boys race. Making club racing debuts were Jetsan Evans, and Xavier Bird. The boys were able to navigate the ups and downs of the course and manage the bumping that happens amongst the runners at the start. They fed off each others pace right till the end. Xavier crossed the line in 6th place, and Jetsan followed 6 seconds later in 10th place. Unfortunately, there were only 2 Boardwalk runners in this category today as others couldn't make it. If another runner from the club had finished in the top 16 places the team would have contested for one of the team medals.
In the Tyke group (9/10yr olds), Boardwalk returned 2 of the 4 runners that won Bronze at last years championship in Guelph. The two Charlies, Mills and Pilz, were back with two new teammates, Evan Carter and Cooper Loblaw. This year was their year. The team managed a dramatic win that shows just how important each runner is to the cause. Last years champions Etobicoke had the advantage running on their home course and training grounds, and it showed as they were able to capture the first and second overall. Pilz managed to hang on to the front runners pace and nearly sprinted into second. Mills having survived a slip and a fall at the halfway point, got up and stuck with the group as best he could and finished a strong 6th place. Evan also stayed in the fight and pushed his hardest to try and earn a top spot, crossing the line in 11th. The team score is made up of the top 3 runners places added together, lowest score wins. Etobicoke TFC places 1, 2, 17 =20; Boardwalk RC places 3, 6, 11 =20; and notably Milton Shock placed 5, 8, 9 =22. So the tiebreak is decided by the best 3rd runner between tied teams. Evan's 11th place turned last years bronze into gold. This will historically be the first provincial team championship in club history. Cooper made his club debut in this race as well. He placed well in 36th place and as the 8th placed 9 year old.
In Atom girls (11/12yr olds) competition were Fiona Pavlovska and Charlotte Melnyk. Fiona did well to overcome illness and a busy week of school finals racing. A fully fit Fiona would be eyeing a medal, but she was happy she could race at all. She represented Boardwalk well and finished 22nd. Charlotte Melnyk can consider herself a wiley veteran of the Boardwalk RC having raced in the first championships the club ever attended in Brantford 2013. She continues to improve and was able to place 82nd with a competitive time in a competitive field.
Dominic Temple and Rowan Carter were the Atom boys that represented Boardwalk RC by wearing the green and gold. Dominic has been making great strides in his improving running form. He has been working hard with goals and dreams of reaching the top places. But dreams can't be realized without actual hard work. And work is what Dominic has done. Dominic continues to move closer and closer to the top of his class with each passing meet. This time he finished in 12th, I would happily wager that he will attain places in the top 6 within a year. Rowan has started to become a more frequent fixture of our group. This was his second race in our colours and we hope to see him in many more races. His fast feet carried him into 33rd place. It'll be great to see these two athletes work with some of the new additions to the club. Hopefully, they will be able to field a team next year, I think this is an age group to watch in the team competition next year.
The success of these runners has to be shared with the club (every runner, coach, parent). Because, as a team, it is your hardwork that helps us all achieve success.