Radigan leads Muskie runners in Falls
She only has competed in two meets so far for the Muskies but Grade 9 student Sydney Radigan seemingly already has fit right into the world of high school cross-country running.
After finishing in third place in her first meet in Kenora two weeks earlier, Radigan topped 39 other runners in the junior girls’ race last Thursday at the International Fall Country Club in capturing top honours in the Hial Pike Cross-Country Invitational.
“Once I started to run on the course, though, I started to feel a lot better about myself, and I guess I just really started to gain confidence,” she noted.
Radigan, competing against runners in Grades 7-9, moved into the lead early on and began to pull away from the rest of the field.
Her time of 13:38.51 was nearly a minute faster than runner-up Emma Terwilliger of Ely, Mn.
“That really surprised me as I usually am running with everyone around me, and I’m not that far ahead from everyone else most of the time,” Radigan said.
Among those impressed by Radigan’s showing was Muskie coach Natasha Shack, who was one of the first to congratulate the winner after her performance.
“She was one of the oldest people in this race coming in, but with that said, to see her finish at the top of her field by that margin was quite impressive,” Shack said.
“She ran a great race in Kenora earlier this year, where she was the top Grade 9 runner in a field that included Grade 10s,” added Shack.
“And I can’t wait to see what she does in Thunder Bay when she is running just with people in her grade.”
Also competing in the junior girls’ race for the Muskies was Savannah Chapman, who finished in 28th place with a time of 17:30.31.
A number of Muskies competed in the girls’ varsity division race last Thursday, where Grade 10 runner Hailey Beaudry led the charge by finishing in 42nd place with a time of 18:04.65.
“Hailey did really well, especially since she was at the low end of her age group for this race and was going up against runners who are much stronger and are used to running this type of race over and over again,” Shack noted.
“She did a great job on the ninth hole where the hill is here, as she had a great kick down there and was able to make up a lot of spots.
“That’s the type of thing that she does on a regular basis,” Shack added.
Also representing the black-and-gold in that race were Victoria Hammond, Brooklyn Patey, Christina Vandermeer, Alexis Hampe, and Kennedy Latimer.
The varsity boys’ event last Thursday, meanwhile, marked the final meet for Grade 12 runner Dexter Fichuk, who is unable to compete at the NWOSSAA championships in Thunder Bay next Wednesday (Oct. 24) due to an event he’ll be attending in Toronto.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time that I have had in the program over the last three years,” said Fichuk, who was the top Muskie in the race with a 98th place result.
“It’s not as competitive as some of the other team sports, but you really feel that team spirit when you are competing,” he added.
Thomas Lepine, Arthur Van Ael, and Monty Visser also represented the black-and-gold last Thursday in the Falls.
Currently, 18 members of the Muskie team are getting ready for their last major meet of the season next Wednesday in Thunder Bay, where they’ll compete in the NWOSSAA championships at the Kamview Nordic Centre.
“There will be more rolling terrain and hills there compared to the grass running that we do here in the Falls,” Shack noted.
“So we will try and do some more hill work here this week, and we will also be doing some more sprint work, as well.
“During the first month of practices, we have been focusing more on the distance running and getting the legs used to that, so now is the time to pay a lot of attention to the sprinting side of things,” she explained.