Everyone reaches a crossroads at some point in their life.
But when the fastest runners from Rainy River District converged on Crossroads School in Devlin last Wednesday, the home squad already had made the decision for them.
The hosts won four of the 10 team categories, and finished second in three others, at the regional cross-country championship—winning seven individual medals in the process.
The 14 participating schools at the event now have the option of sending up to 10 runners each to the mid-Canada cross-country championship at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay on Oct. 26.
The winning teams in each division collected the lowest point totals, with more points awarded to a team the farther down its runners came in the finishing order of each race.
Crossroads started the day off right, taking first place in the Grade 4 girls’ race with 15 points, followed by St. Francis School from Fort Frances (18) and Sturgeon Creek School from Barwick (31).
Mikaela Kroeker from Sturgeon Creek broke the tape first in the event, with Jessica Geense from J.W. Walker School in Fort Frances taking second and Shae-Lynn Smith (Crossroads) ending up third.
The Sturgeon Creek Alternative Program was tops in the Grade 4 boys’ event with 11 points, followed by Crossroads (31) and Huffman School in Fort Frances (36).
Dirk Friesen from S.C.A.P. won the race handily, with Crossroads’ Dustin Chiefson in second and Sturgeon Creek’s Brady Heyens winding up third.
Donald Young School from Emo ruled the roost in the Grade 5 girls’ division with 18 points, with Sturgeon Creek and Robert Moore School (Fort Frances) finishing tied for second with 27.
Cheyenne Cochrane carried the day for Robert Moore, winning the event, with Sturgeon Creek’s Carrie Bragg and Donald Young’s Marybeth Soucy rounding out the top three.
St. Francis, led by race winner Justin Anderson, came out on top in the Grade 5 boys’ division with 20 points, outdistancing S.C.A.P. (27) and Riverview School from Rainy River (36).
Keith McTavish of Crossroads was second in the event while Robert Moore’s Peter Jensen took third.
Crossroads (15) edged Sturgeon Creek (18) to win the Grade 6 girls’ crown, with Robert Moore close behind in third with 22.
Selena Potter (Sturgeon Creek) crossed the finish line first to win the race, followed by Robert Moore’s Emma Elliot and Lindsay Richardson from Crossroads.
Robert Moore moved to the head of the field in the Grade 6 boys’ race, winning easily with 16 points to finish well ahead of Crossroads (28) and Mine Centre (40).
Talbot Johnson of Mine Centre maintained his quick pace throughout the race to finish first, with Robert Moore’s Mitchell Cain and James Saunders from Crossroads nabbing second and third, respectively.
Crossroads owned the Grade 7 category with 17 points—giving it first place in both the girls’ and boys’ divisions.
Atikokan High School (28) and J.W. Walker (37) were second and third among the girls, while J.W. Walker (19) and Sturgeon Creek (26) kept things close in the boys’ race.
Rachel Dutton (Robert Moore) won the girls’ race, with St. Francis runner Jessica Cousineau snaring second spot and Erin Kaemingh from Crossroads taking third.
S.C.A.P.’s Andrew Friesen was king of the trail in the boys’ event, with Sturgeon Creek’s Stefan Gerber second and J.W. Walker’s Michael Sande taking third.
Robert Moore (22) nipped Donald Young (25) for the Grade 8 girls’ division title, with Sturgeon Creek (31) back another notch in third place.
Rachel Hettinga (DYS) blew away the field to win the event, with Michelle Cournoyer (St. Francis) finishing a strong second and Sandy Elliot (Robert Moore) coming in third.
Mine Centre saved its best for last, soaring to the top of the Grade 8 boys’ division in the final race of the day. They collected 19 points altogether to beat out Crossroads (25) and St. Francis (31).
Tyler Johnson was the major reason for Mine Centre’s success, winning the race over pursuers Sean Love (Crossroads and Danny Chatman (St. Francis).