At the Smithers northwest cross-country track meet zones on the weekend of Oct. 21, 2017, two Houston athletes competed and received first and third place in the competition.
Salish MacDonald, form Houston Secondary School, won first place, and Ethan VanHoffen, from the Houston Christian School, won third place in the Smithers competition.
The two Grade 9 students have been training since the first week of September 2017 for cross-country running, and since cross-country zones in Smithers, been qualified to compete in the provincial championships in Vancouver on the weekend of Nov. 4, 2017.
“Both Salish and Ethan are junior boys and race five kilometres on a flat grass course,” said Darren MacDonald, cross-country coach in Houston.
“We have been training on hills all season, so it has been nice to work on some faster flat sections,” said Darren.
The two boys run six days a week with two hard workouts per week to test and develop their skills, and especially keep a steady pace.
“They have encouraged each other and pushed one another in the workouts,” said Darren. “My goal for these boys is that they give 100 per cent effort and gain valuable experience. Time and place are not important to me. Positive attitude and work ethnic are.”
At the Vancouver cross-country provincial championships, there is expected to be between 250 to 350 runners in the junior boys category where Salish and Ethan will be competing in.
Darren says that even on Oct. 24, 2017, the cold rain and snow day did not deter Salish and Ethan.
“They ran a 700 metre deep soaking wet muddy col loop and took only a one minute jog break before doing it again. Eight times in total at a race pace,” said Darren.
Darren says the boys have been enjoying all the success the training and competitions have brought them.