The Yorkton Regional Raider Cross Country Team was crowned the 2013 Provincial Champions at the SHSAA Cross Country Championship held at Loon Lake Regional Park last weekend.
“This was the second time in four years that our team has won the honour,” said coach Shelly Westberg. “We thought we might be able to pull it off again, but we were really nervous, there are some strong teams out there.”
The team championship is decided by awarding points to each runner that finishes his/her race. If a runner finishes first the team gets one point. Moreover, if the runner finishes seventh the team gets seven points. At the end of the competition the team with the fewest points wins the Provincial Championship.
The Raiders finished in first with 15 points while Moose Jaw Peacock captured second with 17 points and Regina LeBoldus finished third with 23 points. There were 11 teams in the 4A competition, the competition between the largest schools in the province. And in total there were 45 teams in the competition, all of them finishing behind the Raiders.
Leading the way for the Raiders was Derek Campbell, who finished second in the Midget Boys Category.
“Campbell had the race of his life,” said coach Mike Haczkewicz. “He took off with the leaders right from the start and was part of a lead pack of five runners that broke away from the rest of the field.”
The three other scoring members for the Raider team were Cole Burkeholder, who finished fourth in the Junior Boys 5km Category, Alex Frumen, who finished fourth in the Senior Boys 6km event, and Jaden Porte was fifth in the Senior Boys race.
The YRHS had fifteen runners qualify for the provincial meet. Top 20 performances were turned in by Kelsey Haczkewicz, who finished 11th in the Midget Girls 3km event, Jaret Porte, who finished 11th in the Midget Boys 4km race, Spencer Steele, who finished an impressive 12th in the same race and Haylen Langelier and TJ McBride who finished 10th and 12th respectively in the Junior Boys 5k race.
“Both Coach Westberg and myself are really excited about the future of the sport at our school,” said Haczkewicz. “The team will graduate only one runner, Alex Frumen, who committed to both Cross-Country and Track and Field at the YRHS this year by moving into the city from Esterhazy to focus on his running. The future looks bright for the sport of long distance running in the land of orange.”