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Sunday, Jun. 16, 2019
Lo-Ellen sweeps all six divisional banners
by Randy Pascal

The next wave of Lo-Ellen Park Knights cross-country talent is jumping into the thick of things just as fast as their predecessors. Maybe even faster.

In capturing the midget girls race in a time of 16:26, Lo-Ellen freshman Avery Sutherland took full advantage of the fact that with both groups covering a course of four kilometres, the boys and girls grade nine runners would take to the trails simultaneously.

In fact, trailing only Ian MacKenzie of Confederation (14:58) and Patrick Wiss of Lo-Ellen (15:55), Sutherland would have earned a bronze medal, even if the race been considered an open mixed event.

"It just makes me run faster, because I have people around me," noted the native of Manitoulin Island, regarding the benefits of competing alongside the boys. "If I didn't have anyone around me, I would probably be slowing my pace down."

"The first place boy (MacKenzie) was already gone," said Sutherland, providing a post-race narrative. "I was with the second place boy (Wiss) and I was leading that pack for a good km and a bit. Then there came a hill and the guy passed me. But I knew if I wanted to have a good time, I needed to keep him in close range."

Having competed in races in Toronto and area, Sutherland is blessed with a very healthy perspective regarding the overall grade nine running talent that is spread out across Ontario. "I would like to make it to OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) and be in the top fifty," she said. "When you go to OFSAA, there are going to be at least 50-75 good runners there."

Senior Lo-Ellen teammate Auggy Marks de Chabris is well aware of the numbers. Making multiple trips to provincials in both cross-country and track and field, the 17 year old grade 12 student is making a return to the running scene this fall, after taking some time away from the sport last spring.

Based on his 14 second victory in the senior boys race over teammate and Elliot Lake transfer Nick Lambert, the relatively brief sabbatical appears to have paid off for Marks de Chabris, whose twin sister Nathalie also claimed the senior girls title.

"I'm in the best form I have ever been," said the male race winner. "I'm training a lot more than I used to, but taking much better care of my body. It was about eight months without running an official race, so it feels great to be back out."

"When you don't do something for a long time, you tend to appreciate it that little bit more when you start to do it again," added Marks de Chabris. "But I needed the break. It got me thinking about why I was running in the first place."

For the first time in the memory of everyone on hand, the city cross-country championships were dotted with a brief appearance from the white stuff (snow), with weather conditions far worse than any of the past five or six SDSSAA final competitions.

"I don't really mind (that weather)," said Marks de Chabris. "At the end of the race, you don't really feel anything. I would rather minus ten than plus thirty." Keeping with the tradition of family cross-country genetics at Lo-Ellen, the junior girls event featured a one-two finish for the "Irish twins" tandem of Kalila and Chandyn Bachiu.

The grade ten sisters, whose birthdates are separated by roughly eleven months, have maintained a very healthy athletic rivalry over the years. "We have always encouraged each other," noted Kalila, the first place finisher in 22:27, exactly 38 seconds ahead of her older sibling.

"It's just last year that I finally passed her. She's a jumper (Chandyn enjoyed a top ten finish in the midget long jump at OFSAA last June), so she kind of focused on that for track, and I trained long distances and got a step ahead of her."

After finishing third in the midget race in 2017, a closely contested trio, separated by just a single second, which also included Lady Wolves' netminder Kristen Mrozewski, Kalila Bachiu continued her steady path of development over the course of the past twelve months.

"When I started in grade nine, I never thought I would know the feeling of coming in first place," she admitted. "At track season, I trained really hard. I think that got me a step ahead of everything. Through the summer, I tried to train as much as possible, and then I continued training throughout the fall."

All of the city's top runners now advance to the 2018 NOSSA Championships, also being hosted at Kivi Park, this coming Wednesday (October 24th). Following are results for the top five placements across all six divisions that were contested this week:

Senior Boys Division (6 kms)
1st - Auggy Marks de Chabris (LOE) - 22:09
2nd - Nick Lambert (LOE) - 22:23
3rd - Kendyn Mashinter (LOE) - 22:27
4th - Connor Jermyn (LOE) - 22:47
5th - Tony Piro (STB) - 22:58
Team Champions - Lo-Ellen - 10 points

Senior Girls Division (6 kms)
1st - Nathalie Marks de Chabris (LOE) - 27:18
2nd - Meredith Kusnierczyk (LOE) - 27:42
3rd - Fiona Symington (LOE) - 27:45
4th - Isabella Mastroianni (STB) - 28:33
5th - Jamie Schweyer (MMT) - 28:58
Team Champions - Lo-Ellen - 12 points

Junior Boys Division (5 kms)
1st - Calum Passi (LAS) - 18:37
2nd - Austin Mashinter (LOE) - 19:11
3rd - Aleksandre McTaggart (CND) - 20:23
4th - Jérémie Aubin (CND) - 20:25
5th - Braedon Watson (STC) - 21:27
Team Champions - Lo-Ellen - 28 points

Junior Girls Division (5 kms)
1st - Kalila Bachiu (LOE) - 22:27
2nd - Chandyn Bachiu (LOE) - 23:05
3rd - Emily Binks (LCS) - 24:15
4th - Rebecca Sorgini (LCS) - 24:20
5th - Sarah Ieropoli (LOE) - 24:51
Team Champions - Lo-Ellen - 14 points

Midget Boys Division
1st - Ian MacKenzie (CFD) - 14:58
2nd - Patrick Wiss (LOE) - 15:55
3rd - Noah Beaulne (HAN) - 16:42
4th - Scott Rienguette (BAC) - 16:45
5th - Grégoire Fleury (LOE) - 16:53
Team Champions - Lo-Ellen - 22 points

Midget Girls Division
1st - Avery Sutherland (LOE) - 16:26
2nd - Alison Symington (LOE) - 16:43
3rd - Amanda Symington (LOE) - 17:19
4th - Abby Lanteigne (LCS) - 17:55
5th - Maggie Parks (LOE) - 18:09
Team Champions - Lo-Ellen - 11 points

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