By Tyler Lowey, Times Reporter
The defending provincial champions are rounding into shape.
The Strathmore High School Spartans cross-country program competed in the Foothills Divisional meet Oct. 4 at Red Deer Lake.
The Spartans have attended the meet for over 13 years and use it as a way to prepare for the bigger meets down the road.
“The thing is, our season is so short; for new runners who haven’t competed before, this race was a great way to feel things out,” said head coach Paul Sonsteby. “We don’t want our runners competing for real for the first time in zones with everything on the line.”
Kage Yellowfly was the top Spartan, winning gold in the junior boy’s division with a time of 13:50. Josh Filopinoek placed second in the intermediate boys with a time of 19:31.
In the girl’s division, Ainsley Olson took the bronze in the junior bracket, crossing the finish line at 12:23. Not too far behind her was Cheldynn Molnar, in 12:29. Kaylin Larson won the bronze in the senior division, with a time of 18:15.
All 50 of the Spartan runners took part in the exhibition meet. Red Deer Lake’s results carry no weight in standings or qualifications for zones.
Sonsteby is rolling with a smaller squad this year, having lost a good chunk of his roster last year through graduation, a chunk that was largely responsible for the provincial banner that hangs in the school gym.
“I’m really confident in all of our runners, but our junior runners have looked really strong,” said Sonsteby. “They are a nice group of runners and I look forward to working with them for the next few years.”
Many of the runners the Spartans were pinned against at Red Deer Lake will be in attendance for the South Central Zone Championship that took place Oct. 11 in Sundre.
Should the Spartans send runners to provincials, they will aim to defend their title Oct. 21 in Edmonton.