By Darryl G. Smart
Like many runners, Kennason Boudreault had no idea what to expect when the green light was given to compete in high school cross-country.
Well, the Waterford District High School student took full advantage of the opportunity and turned a lot of heads in the process, finishing 11th in the junior girls division at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association cross-country championships.
“Coming from a small school with so few students interested in cross-country, it was incredible to see how many runners were competing at OFSAA,” Boudreault said. “It was amazing to experience how big this cross-country event is and that they built a temporary Nike store just for this event.
“When I got there and saw all of the teams and competitors, I didn’t know what I was capable of, but was just going to do my best and see what happened,” she said. “I never expected that I would do as well as I did, but I was really proud of my result and I was really happy to just get out and compete again.”
An amazing accomplishment considering Boudreault hasn’t been able to compete in so long, and the stomach full of nerves she had.
“Besides feeling really nervous, I was also very excited and I couldn’t believe that I was competing against the best runners in Ontario,” Boudreault said. “I loved this experience and will never forget it.”
Heading into the season, Boudreault simply set small goals she thought were attainable. Little did the runner know she would reach them and more.
“Going into my first race (Athletic Association of Brant Haldimand Norfolk) I had no idea what the competition would be like, as there had been no races in the last couple of years,” Boudreault said. “I set my goal to try and get in the top 10 and completely surprised myself when I got first and my personal best. Going into the next race (Central Western Ontario Secondary Schools Association) I set the same goal of top 10, but I didn’t have as high of expectations. But I was really excited to get second.”
Boudreault wasn’t the only local runner turning heads.
Gavin Mathieson, from Cayuga Secondary School, and Holy Trinity’s Andrew O’Neail both earned ninth-place finishes in the novice boys and junior boys races respectively.
The local results are:
39. Kate Lehto, Assumption College School, 18:35.9
62. Eowynn Fowler, Delhi District Secondary School, 19:15.2
105. Paige Lingard, Simcoe Composite School, 20:48.3
9. Gavin Mathieson, Cayuga Secondary School, 15:34.2
33. Tristan Garlow, Pauline Johnson Collegiate, 16:20.4
11. Kennason Boudreault, Waterford District High School, 21:20.7
33. Caitlyn Thompson, CSS, 22:51.4
9. Andrew O’Neail, Holy Trinity, 18:03.4
32. Micah Duchene, North Park Collegiate, 18:59.7
58. Kelly Mantel, Paris District High School, 26:38.0
26. Dylan Cmapbell, PDHS, 21:13.8