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Sadie Frantz is a cross-country force to be reckoned with
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As a grade seven runner, Sadie Frantz of Lo-Ellen captured the Senior Girls race (grades 7 & 8) at the Rainbow Elementary Cross-Country Championships earlier this week at Kivi Park by exactly 40 seconds.

That's an impressive accomplishment, in and of itself. Of course, Frantz also took top spot roughly one week earlier in the Novice Division of the L.U. Rumble on the Rock, besting a field of almost exclusively grade nine talent from across northern Ontario by exactly twenty seconds.

It's all pretty heady stuff for a multi-sport athlete who seems to be taking it all in stride - figuratively and literally.

"I've been doing running since about grade three when I started with cross-country and realized that it's great for my hockey training and off-ice training," said the 12 year old harrier.

"It helps with my conditioning and I'm able to play better. But in grade four, I realized that I was pretty decent at it, so I started running a little more often."

Frantz would lead a string of six straight Lo-Ellen athletes crossing the finish line in her event, with only Megan Pineau able to keep to within a minute of the race leader who covered the 3.8 kilometre course in a time of 14:32 - a clocking that would have place her third in the senior boys race of the same distance.

"At the start of the race, I sprinted into the bush because I don't like being in a pack," said Frantz. "It's better to be out front. Then I saw Megan behind me and she's fast too, so I started to pick it up."

Joining long-time LOE coach Lori Yauk this year is former national team cross-country member Lisa Labrecque, providing a little more in-race strategy for a very talented group of Knights' runners.

"At the start of the race, I go really fast," explained Frantz. "In the middle, I do have a fast pace, but it's a little slower than the end. At the end, she (Ms Labrecque) always tells me to push through."

Meanwhile, on the boys side, Carson Jewitt of MacLeod Public School has maintained his spot as the man to beat in the Senior Boys category - posting a 26 second victory over Grady Dale of Lo-Ellen.

In September of 2018, Jewitt, then in grade four, also earned a first place ribbon in a major cross-country event, capturing top spot in the Laurentian Elementary Classic - though he admits there is a different feel to the events as the 13 year-old prepares to begin high-school competition next fall.

"I'm not as nervous anymore; I used to be really nervous," said Jewitt.

Much like Frantz, Jewitt is inclined not to get too caught up with the pack, even if he's not terribly concerned about those who seem to mistake the cross-country distance for something closer to a 400m sprint once the starting gun sounds.

"Off the start, I usually try and get in the top ten," he said. "I know they will burn out a lot faster and they will slow down. I've got a good pace and I can work my way through the pack" - which was pretty much exactly what happened on this absolutely glorious day for October running.

"I was in fifth off the first straight-away," Jewitt explained. "I was in second once I got around the first corner and down the hill. After another hundred metres, I was in first."

Jewitt also participated in the L.U. Rumble race as an underager, finishing fifth overall among the Novice (grade nine) boys and top amongst the handful of grade eights who competed.

That said, he did recognize some course specific differences between Kivi Park and the Laurentian trails. "They are both fun but Laurentian was a lot harder," he said. "The hills are really bad and we were against grade nines - and they're really fast."

"I do kind of like the hills - on the down sections, you can rest. I would probably prefer a little more hills than this track but a little less than Laurentian."

Following are the top ten finishers in each of the four divisions which competed on Wednesday:

Junior Girls
1st - Davie Dale - R.L. Beattie - 9:36
2nd - Sophie Rancourt - Alexander - 9:55
3rd - Mara Saaremets - R.L. Beatiie - 10:11
4th - Simone Thompson - MacLeod - 10:16
5th - Alice Westby - Northeastern - 10:17
6th - Julia Cecutti - R.L. Beattie - 10:19
7th - Lexi Dubreuil - R.L. Beattie - 10:19
8th - Victoria Nicholls - R.L. Beattie - 10:24
9th - Blake Lyle - Nesbitt - 10:48
10th - Chloe Robichaud - Northeastern - 10:48

Junior Boys
1st - Padraig Courtney - R.L. Beattie - 8:53
2nd - Ryan Pineau - R.L. Beattie - 8:57
3rd - Chidube Elundu - R.L. Beattie - 9:01
4th - Jaxon Rocca - Walden - 9:02
5th - Andrew Polack - R.L. Beattie - 9:10
6th - Oliver Frantz - R.L. Beattie - 9:17
7th - Bobby Vitali - Redwood Acres - 9:22
8th - Maxwell Dodge - MacLeod - 9:25
9th - Tommy Fitzmaurice - R.L. Beattie - 9:26
10th - Ben Babij - Nesbitt - 9:26

Senior Girls
1st - Sadie Frantz - Lo-Ellen - 14:32
2nd - Megan Pineau - Lo-Ellen - 15:12
3rd - Ellie Sauve - Lo-Ellen - 16:02
4th - Lia Paille - Lo-Ellen - 16:04
5th - Sophie Gauld - Lo-Ellen - 17:00
6th - Alessandra Melo - Lo-Ellen - 17:14
7th - Brooklynn Hepworth - Valley View - 17:18
8th - Mattia Mullen - Lo-Ellen - 17:19
9th - Kaitlyn Hooper - Lo-Ellen - 17:29
10th - Ryan Snow - Lo-Ellen - 17:29

Senior Boys
1st - Carson Jewitt - MacLeod - 14:00
2nd - Grady Dale - Lo-Ellen - 14:26
3rd - Sam Lazare - Lo-Ellen - 14:38
4th - Kai Kumar - Lo-Ellen - 14:39
5th - Matteo Ceccon - Alexander - 14:49
6th - Owen Oliver - Lasalle - 14:56
7th - Alex Campbell - Lively - 15:02
8th - Warner Bain - Lasalle - 15:06
9th - Julian Luoma - Algonquin - 15:09
10th - Eden Abols - Lo-Ellen - 15:17

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