GHAC cross country event produces wins

GHAC cross country event produces wins across HWCDSB
Posted on 10/25/2023
cross country runners

By Larry Moko

Runners from Bishop Tonnos finished 1-2 in the senior girls’ race at the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference high school cross-country championships Tuesday.

Chloe Seiler won the 6-kilometre event at Campbellville’s Hilton Falls Conservation Area in 26 minutes, 2 seconds. And seven seconds behind in second place was her Titans teammate, Clara Fava.

Both advance to the provincial finals Nov. 4 at Etobicoke’s Centennial Park.

In addition to BT’s individual honours, the Ancaster school qualified for OFSAA as a team in senior girls as did the St. Thomas More Knights.

The first-place Knights punched their ticket with placings of 11th (Kianna Reppington), 13th (Callea Mule), 14th (Lidia Iannarelli) and 20th (Emma Burke).

Points from Sabina Singh (28th) and Anita Smerilli (31st) also helped the Titans land a qualifying berth.

There were 109 entrants in the senior girls’ category.

“I’m really proud of what they did today,” Titans coach Sean McPhee said.

It was Seiler’s second consecutive GHAC cross-country triumph. She raced to victory last year at the 5K junior level.

“We didn’t know how she was going to do,” McPhee said. “She won junior but this (senior) is a different race. It’s a little further. She’s also running against girls who are a little older. She’s only in Grade 11.”

The Tonnos coach said Fava and Seiler train hard and “push each other” to get better.

“They are in a track club,” he said, “but they are also out there every night training for BT.”

While the Titans didn’t have any senior boys running, they entered seven in the senior girls grouping. Renton Leighton of Tonnos placed second in the novice boys 4K (15:28) and in novice girls (4K) the top Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic finisher was also from Tonnos (Leila Soccio, 16th).

“They’re a great bunch of kids to coach and work with,” said McPhee, who also coaches track and field at Tonnos.

In other action, Anna Ptaszek of St. Mary cracked the top five to qualify for OFSAA with her second-place finish in the junior girls’ race. Her time was 20:42.

The daughter of McMaster Marauders head football coach Stefan Ptaszek also placed second at GHAC cross-country as a novice last year.

“It went well,” Ptaszek said. “I went out a little slow, but I picked it up.

“I did what I expected --I wanted to come second and I ran the time I was counting for.”

In both years at GHAC cross-country Ptaszek has come second behind Maya Markowska of Burlington Central. Said Ptaszek: “She (Markowska) is a really good middle distance runner with a strong kick at the end. I was happy with how close it was. I beat her one time earlier this season, though, at the Dundas Valley meet.”

A Grade 10 student and Hamilton Olympic Club member, Ptaszek is a former competitive gymnast who enjoys playing flag football. She took part in both the 1500-metres and the 3,000m finals last year at OFSAA track, finishing 7th and 5th, respectively.

“Anna has been quite awesome for us,” Crusaders coach Rob Zaccaria said. “We can pretty much have her carrying the banner for St. Mary for the foreseeable future.

“She’s very dedicated to the sport. As a student/athlete, you couldn’t ask for anyone better.”

St. Mary picked up a first-place medal when Michael Janczak won the Para boys’ 3K in 19:58. The Crusaders also had a city Catholic victory in senior boys by Evan Ryall.

Alex Gray of the St. Jean de Brébeuf Braves qualified for OFSAA with a third-place finish in novice boys (15:34). And a seventh-place finish by Brébeuf’s Ben Casey was the best Hamilton-Wentworth performance in junior boys (19:54).

cross country runners

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