Three Comox Valley runners had an early look at winter last weekend in Prince George at the B.C. High School Cross Country Championships.
Fleet-footed twins Adam and Scott Commandeur from Highland Secondary and Dominic Nadeau from Mark Isfeld Secondary took on the very best runners in the province – 285 of them in total. Running in -4C. conditions with up to 10cm of snow on the course, all three local runners represented the Valley brilliantly, finishing 23rd (Scott), 29th (Adam) and 37th (Dominic).
“Considering the level of competition at the Provincials, where all three boys had to finish in the top 20 on the Island just to qualify to run, these are excellent results,” a spokesperson noted.
This is the first time in the history of Highland’`s cross country program that two runners qualified for Provincials, and Dominic is the first runner from Isfeld ever to qualify for the prestigious event.
Coach Greg Kochanuk had this to say about the twins’ contributions to the cross country program this year: “Adam and Scott became leaders this year. Not only did they show excellence on the running circuit throughout the season, but for the first time, they took it upon themselves to really lead by example at the school this year.
“They set the pace during training runs, set up a Facebook page to connect runners on the team and help create a feeling of community on this team, a hard thing to do in what’s often considered such an individual sport. They’re leaving a great legacy behind them this year, which is great for athletes in their Grade 12 year to do.”`
All three boys have athletics in their sights as they look beyond high school graduation. Adam and Scott will continue to train for track and field events, where they are both national level athletes in the 400m 800m and steeplechase, respectively and are eyeing NCAA scholarships south of the border.
In Adam`s words, “`Cam Levins (Canadian Olympian in the 5000m and 10,000m) came and watched all of us run this year in Campbell River – it was inspiring to have a runner like him make us realize that just four years ago, he was running this same race. We`ll just keep working hard and hope to represent our country, also.”
Scott echoed these sentiments by saying, “We’ve challenged ourselves this year not to give up. There’s been times where we felt like quitting, or taking days off, but we’ve pushed ourselves to be our very best for our school and hopefully soon for our country.”
– Highland Athletics