From left, ASAA Executive Director-John Paton, and Jan Scott congratulating Para athlete-Dayvid Alishy on being the first racer to cross the finish line on October 20. Alishy is originally from Iraq and attends Father Lacome High School in Calgary. Photos Angela Mouly
J.R. Robson School hosted the 50th Annual ASAA Cross Country Running Provincial Championships at the Vermilion Provincial Park on October 20.
Hundreds of high school students travelled from across Alberta to compete for their personal bests and gain team points, with junior, intermediate, and senior men’s and women’s races ranging from 4 - 6 km, as well as a 2 km Para Race. Dignitaries, athletes, and fans gathered for the Opening Ceremonies, and cheered one another on as they crossed the finish line.
Les Parsons emceed the event, with Cross Country Running Commissioner-Darryl Smith, ASAA Executive Director-John Paton, Vermilion Mayor-Caroline McAuley, and Meet Director-Kelly Scully each giving a special address.
Paton thanked the sponsors, volunteers, athletes, and coaches, and went on to encourage sportsmanship.
“I’ve been where you are as a runner. You’re among the best in Alberta. I want to wish you all the best,” said Smith.
“It’s super exciting to see this many children representing your schools and your communities. This is your day; have fun and enjoy the race and comradery. Never underestimate what you can do,” said Mayor Caroline McAuley.
Parsons shared his coaching history in cross country running and other athletic events with athletes who went on to compete nationally, on the world stage, and at the Olympics.
“Don’t stop; keep on going, and have a positive attitude,” said Parsons.
Parsons made mention of the late Walter Scott who continued running into his 80’s.
“My inspiration comes from friends like these,” added Parsons.
The athlete’s oath was read by J.R. Robson students, and Jan Scott who had encouraged Parsons to coach, presented awards.
Overall, athletes championed the cooler temperatures, and were thrilled to be outdoors doing what they love.
“I love the social aspect of cross country running,” said Mateo Perich from Red Deer.
“I love to run,” said Dayvid Alishy, Para athlete from Calgary.
Top left: The first runner to cross the finish line in just over 16 minutes during the intermediate men’s 5 km race on October 20.
Top right: From left, Mateo Perich and Nicholas Ramrattan from Red Deer were eager to compete at the
Cross Country Running Provincials in Vermilion.
Bottom left: Over 100 high school athletes competed in the intermediate men’s 5 km race at the
50th Annual Cross Country Running Provincial Championships.
Bottom right: An emotional embrace during the Para-race medal ceremony at the
Cross Country Running Provincial Championships.
Photos Angela Mouly