Kootenay Zone wins big at Provincials

LVR athlete retains Provincial XC running champion ranking

L.V.Rogers athlete Matti Erickson has set another new record with his 2nd consecutive first place finish at this year’s Provincial High School Cross Country Championships. Competing against over 270 runners, Matti tied for gold in the Junior Boys division race (Gr.9/10) at the provincial event in Nanaimo last weekend.

Matti came first in 2017 as one of the younger athletes in the Jr. Boys division, which was also a first for the Kootenay zone. This year was an exciting photo finish when he crossed the line with a runner from South Delta zone at exactly the same time.

For full race results, visit: http://www.bcxc.ca

No Kootenay athlete has ever placed in any of the top-three positions of this provincial event since they began keeping records in 1970. And now Matti Erickson has won gold two years in a row! “In this sport, every school competes on an even playing field regardless of size” explains Jon Francis, School District 8 Principal and Zone Rep for the Kootenays. “Matti was running against kids from all the biggest schools on the coast and the island, and for him to take gold two years in a row is something our district is incredibly proud of!”

The Kootenay Zone was represented by 50 athletes this year, the largest showing from this zone ever at the provincial level. Francis has seen a  steady progression of athlete participation since he first got involved 15 years ago. Historically, with so few athletes in the race, the Kootenay zone had not been much of a contender at this level. The zone includes both the East and West Kootenay geographical regions.

LVR cross country team coach, Alex Ulaszonek is also pleased with the growth in participation at events by Kootenay zone athletes. “There was a time when we’d have only 10 athletes from our region competing.” The entire LVR XC team that travelled to provincials this year did really well. As a legitimate contender now on the provincial scene, the Kootenay Zone is eyeing to place a bid to host the provincial championship event here in 2020. This type of athletic event would bring over 1000 runners and their families, friends, and coaches to our region. 2020 would also be Matti’s last year of high school at LVR!

Congratulations to Matti for his outstanding athletic achievement and to all the Kootenay zone athletes on their excellent representation at this event.

For more information:
Dr. Christine Perkins, Superintendent/Chief Executive Officer