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Salmon Arm Secondary girls making a run at cross-country provincials

Senior girls’ team ranked top of 2023 High School Championships at Larch Hills
The Salmon Arm Secondary senior girls’ cross country running team is heading to provincials in November after winning in Kamloops Oct. 24, 2023. Pictured are Madeline Wilkie, Daniela Kosarova, Emma Muddiman, Miah Rands, Eden Heckrodt, Hazel Brooks, Peyton Major and Jocelyn Wohlford. Missing: Ellie Giesbrecht and Amelia Ewanyshyn. (SD83 photo)

A team of Salmon Arm cross-country runners are taking strides towards the top spot in their sport.

Salmon Arm Secondary’s AAA senior girls’ team topped the rankings at the 2023 High School Cross Country Running Valley Championships at Larch Hills on Oct. 24.

The team consists of Madeline Wilkie, Daniela Kosarova, Emma Muddiman, Miah Rands, Eden Heckrodt, Hazel Brooks and Amelie Ewanyshyn. They are headed to provincials in South Surrey Nov. 4.

Coach David Van Bergeyk said he’s very proud of what the girls accomplished this year.

“To be honest, they were pleasantly surprised to win the Okanagan championships, because there were more teams in the race this time than in recent years,” he said. “Last year, we thought we would qualify for provincials, but didn’t. This year, we had some doubts, but ended up winning!”

Van Bergeyk added he is proud of the way the team has come together, bonding on and off the cross country track.

“I am especially proud of how the girls have bonded as a team,” he said. “We have two international students running this year, and they have both commented how much they feel welcomed by the girls on the team. That’s more important to me than race results, honestly, and it’s been a pleasure to coach such a great group of athletes.”

Also contributing to the win, but not slated for provincials were Peyton Major, Jocelyn Wohlford, Gabrielle Giesbrecht and Sam Peterson.

Local schools did well in other categories as well, with the senior girls’ second place spot going to the South Kamloops team.

The junior boys’ division was won by Vernon’s W.L. Seaton Secondary School, with Salmon Arm’s Jackson campus coming in second. Jackson’s team has Kian Smith, Walter Bullen, Peter Liebich, Kynan Dicker, Peter Ely, Samuel Muddiman and Carlos Soto Ontanon. Third place went to KLO Middle School.

While local schools didn’t claim any berths in senior boys’ or junior girls’ categories, individuals qualified for provincials, including Jonathan Breugem of Salmon Arm Secondary and Lily Ewanyshyn, Etoile Brown and Vienne Bredick, all from Jackson.

Individual results and times can be found at the High School Cross Country Valley Championship website.

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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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