Last week was the South Zone Cross-Country championships in Echodale and Barnwell was able to recapture the 2J zone banner.
Barnwell’s three-year string of championships was interrupted last year, but 35 Trojans and cross-country coach Aaron Edlund, were determined to get it back.
Led by Dylan Johnson’s ninth-place finish and a group of top 25 finishers, Amelia Shimbashi 16th, Millay Johnson 17th, Reagan Bailey and Michael Johnson 22nd, Mackina Mouland and Brendan Olsen 23rd, the Trojans amassed 292 points on the day. Easily enough for the 2J banner and seventh overall, among all schools in southern Alberta.
“I’m really proud of the kids this year. Winning breeds winning, but when we got knocked off last year, I thought we were in trouble.”
“Suddenly, the hard work and training wasn’t rewarded with an opportunity to sign a banner like it usually was,” said Edlund. “The kids could have easily stepped back from cross-country and not put in the effort. Instead, the opposite happened. Despite a hectic September, we were still able to get the miles in that we needed. All of our top 25 finishers were excellent examples during training sessions…especially, Dylan and Amelia. They both trained really hard.”
However, eight kids are not enough to win a banner. Critical points were also scored by Riley Johnson 43rd, Jenna Nelson 44th, Kitawna Sparks 46th, Dakota Huddlestun 48th, and Denzel Gross 49th.
“In races of nearly 150 competitors each, a top 50 finish is fantastic,” added Edlund. “Every year I am shocked by what some kids pull off. Despite not cracking the top 50, this year’s shocking moment came in the form of Walker Kerner. Walker isn’t as into sports as many of the kids at Barnwell School are, but his efforts on the course yesterday were noteworthy. I am very proud that Walker pulled on a Trojan jersey. Our bus wasn’t packed with elite-level athletes, but everyone one of the kids that did make the trip all had what every runner needs…guts.”