A host of local runners with solid showings in past provincial competitions qualified for the South Central team after the district competition in Wakamow Valley last week and will be looking for a similar showing when action begins at the Carlton Trail Dixon Hills ski facility near Humboldt on Saturday.
Leading the way will be senior girls district champion Jadyn Palaschuk, who won gold in the then-named midget division back in 2019, the last time South Central competed in provincials. Last year’s gathering was cancelled due to the pandemic, although a modified event with self-submitted times was held.
The Central standout will be joined by a pair of top-10 finishers in the junior girls division that same year in provincial track and field medalist Akuol Riak -- who was fourth in cross country in 2019 -- and Peacock’s Brooklyn Roney, who was 10th in the same division.
The senior boys division was won by Central’s Jacob King, who finished ninth in the junior boys division at the 2019 provincials.
Here’s a complete rundown of the South Central team that will take to the hills this weekend:
Senior girls: Jadyn Palaschuk (Central), Akuol Riak (Central), Daphne Hamel (Ecole Ducharme), Kaitlynn McQueen (Peacock), Brooklyn Roney (Peacock) and Bethany McEvoy-Sands (Vanier).
Senior boys: Brexsen Strieb (Gravelbourg), Justin Arandin (Central), Nigel Fang (Central), Jacob King (Central), Zarek Sand (Central), Braydon Cushway (Peacock), Cole Hanson (Peacock), Rafael Pondevida (Peacock), Samir Axamd (Vanier), John Cabrel (Vanier).
Junior girls: Kaesha Guillaume Gravelbourg), Ava Sayers (Kincaid), Brynn Kell (Central), Ava Kindiak (Vanier).
Junior boys: Pason Pagan (Gravelbourg), Josh Chamberlain (Peacock), Payton Kell (Peacock), Dawson Thibodeau (Peacock), Jesse Cline (Vanier).
Intermediate girls: Elizabeth Ratzlaff (Gravelbourg), Megan DuSomme (Central), Katy Rogers (Central), Nikolina Kapovic (Peacock), Madison Marktnner (Peacock), Callista McQueen (Peacock).
Intermediate boys: Dillon Haggerty (Assiniboia), Kaeleb Tabin (Peacock), Eric Swalm (Peacock), Wayne Bauluck (Vanier).