By Charlie Pinkerton
A trio of girls emerged from the forest to the homestretch of the Green’s Creek race course without a competitor in sight in the junior girls’ division of Ottawa’s high school cross-country championships on Thursday.
Skye Pellerin of St. Francis won the slightly over 5 km race in 21:02.99, followed by 2nd place Emma Betty of Lisgar Collegiate (21:12.61) and St. Peter’s Katie Newlove (21:24.55) in 3rd.
“My goal was to stay with (Betty and Newlove) and at the end to pass and win,” Pellerin said. She’ll make her OFSAA cross-country debut in Petawawa on Nov. 4.
“Last year I didn’t make OFSAA. I came 8th (in the city) with a bad race,” she said. Thursday’s race was her ninth of the season. It was her sixth time she placed 1st.
What made this race different was that she defeated Newlove, her friend and training partner with the Ottawa Lions.
“I’ve never beaten Katie (Newlove) before so that was exciting,” she added.
At the provincial championship, she’s hoping to turn some heads with a strong first appearance in the sport of cross-country.
“I hope to do really well. I definitely want to come top 10, and if I can, better than that,” Pellerin said.
“This one is all about qualifying,” said Newlove of the race, who finished 10th in her age-group at last year’s OFSAA cross-country championship.
In exciting fashion, 4 schools, Lisgar (62), Glebe Collegiate (67), South Carleton (79), and All Saints (84), finished within 22 points of each other for the team’s top prize and 1 of 2 berths to OFSAA.
Lisgar’s Betty and teammates Rhea Grace (9th place), Isabel Smith (25th) and Lia Ferguson (26th) won their school 1st place in the division. Qualifying in the 5th spot at the provincial championship for Lisgar was Christina Sanchez (46th).
Glebe unexpectedly took 2nd place in the division with a strong team performance highlighted by an 8th overall finish by Jasmine Lyons, 12th by Katie Macintosh, 13th by Mackenzie Kitchen and 34th by Lilli Thomas. Rounding out their expected OFSAA roster is Kate Collings (37th).
Lauren Reid from All Saints (4th place), Veronique Bolduc from Beatrice-Desloges (5th) and Elle Spencer from South Carleton (6th) were the other OFSAA qualifying junior girls.