I.E. Weldon cross country bronze finish at Ontario finals
By Amanda Tayles
I.E. Weldon Secondary School junior girls (Grade 10) cross country team placed third in the provincial finals at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) in early November. An incredible success for the amazing group of six girls – Mary Dafoe, Michelle De Vos, Kyla Farr, Ellianne McLaren, Addison Smith, and Lucy Stephenson. The first team medal in cross country and only the second ever team medal for Weldon.
Cross country teams work by drawing a cumulative score from the individual teammate races, with the lowest score ranking highest. In regional finals this year, Central Ontario Secondary Schools Association (COSSA), the team placed first with a score of 18; comparatively the lowest possible score is 10. At OFSSA, where 259 runners competed, the team scored 253 with an average pace of 3:51/km for the 5 km distance.
Coach Rhonda Dobson attributes the group’s success to their high levels of dedication. “To have a group be that committed has really affected their results.” The team’s highest placed runner at OFSAA (13th overall), Kyla Farr, echoes her coach’s sentiments. She finds the team atmosphere to be intrinsically motivating due to its sheer enjoyment. “If I didn’t have a team it wouldn’t be as fun.” Looking ahead to senior level (Grades 11-12), Farr is up for the challenge as “new people will come on the team and it will be exciting to run against older girls.”