Prince Albert passes test of hosting provincial high school cross country championship

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald The junior girls’ field races down one of the soccer fields at Prime Ministers’ Park during the 2019 SHSAA provincial cross country meet.

With some time to reflect on everything that went on at Prime Ministers’ Park this past Saturday, Carlton Crusaders cross country running head coach Carolyn Bennington was thrilled with the effort that everyone put in as the school served as the hosts for the 2019 Saskatchewan High Schools Association championship.

“There’s a lot of work that’s involved and we had a lot of people step up to volunteer over the Thanksgiving long weekend,” Bennington said. “We had teachers from Carlton, St. Mary and other schools in the district help us out, which was awesome to see.

“Everyone at the school couldn’t be more proud of how everything went. The meet ran on time and everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do, which allowed the day to run smoothly.”

One of the things that helped the organizers out was the fact that Prime Ministers’ Park served as the hosts for the North Central regional meet on Oct. 3.

“That allowed us to make sure that we had our spotters in the right spot on the course so that the runners weren’t confused by the layout or that they didn’t cut any corners,” Bennington said. “We were able to touch up any of the small problems that we had so that they weren’t any issues during the provincials.

“We got a lot of positive reviews from the out-of-town competitors about the course and the spectators were also happy with the course, especially as they were able to watch the race from a lot of different areas.”

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald
Carlton’s Daniel McCaffrey earned a sixth place result in the midget boys’ event, which was the top result for the North Central district.

A pair of Crusaders led the way for the North Central team on Saturday as Daniel McCaffrey placed sixth in the midget boys race and Rayne Cyr finished in 14th position in the midget girls event.

“Daniel and Rayne were both really excited about their finishes,” Bennington said. “Their results show that they can compete with anyone in the province and that should give them some extra confidence going into next year.

“When you look at the big picture for our North Central region, to compete against the best athletes in Saskatchewan and have a number of runners place in the top 50 is a great thing.”

Although nothing has been set in stone yet, Carlton would be interested in hosting the provincial cross country meet again in the future.

“It’s something that I’m sure we will talk about with the SHSAA in the future,” Bennington said. “Hopefully it doesn’t fall at the same time as the Thanksgiving long weekend next time around, as it can be a bit of a challenge when it comes to finding volunteers.”