A silver medalist a season ago, Ashley Windsor would not be denied her second time around.
The Walnut Grove Grade 12 student captured the senior girls’ cross-country provincial championship on Saturday.
The race was held at Kelowna’s Telemark Ski Area.
Windsor completed the course in 16:40.51, 13 seconds ahead of the Salmon Arm’s Emmy Sim.
“It was probably the hardest course I have ever seen in my 19 years of cross-country,” said Gators coach Don Sparks.
“I haven’t seen anything as difficult as this.”
The course was very hilly and the ground was frozen, which meant lots of rolled ankles for the competitors as there was little give as their feet pounded the race course.
Some pre-race scouting, as well as her natural aptitude on hills, probably worked in Windsor’s favour.
The morning of the race, coach and athlete looked at the final corner that led to the finish.
And sure enough, with about 250m to go in the race, Windsor’s angle towards the inside corner was able to create some separation from Sim heading into the final hill on the course. From there, Windsor built on her advantage and crossed the finish line in first place.
“We planned the finish and she executed it perfectly,” Sparks said. “She surged at the right time.”
Altogether, the Gators girls’ team placed fifth in B.C. while the boys’ also cracked the top 10, finishing ninth.
Two hundred and 80 runners took part in the girls’ race.
Meg Harradine was 58th in 18:37.25.
Andrea Robinson was 66th in 18:48.01.
Dallas Tilley was 90th in 19:09.29.
Danica Matson was 97th in 19:18.49.
Taylor Gillis was 104th in 19:28.76.
Sam Gillis was 119th in 19:37.29.
In the boys’ race, the field consisted of 286 runners.
Max Proske was the top Walnut Grove runner, placing 38th in a time of 25:43.62.
Sean Burnett was 42nd in 25:48.86.
Brandon Drake was 67th in 26:24.96
James Lam was 114th in 27:22.85.
Will Tsai was 183rd in 28:40.85.
Kieran Jenkins was 195th in 28:56.35.
Richard Torres was 215th in 29:23.36.
Brookswood’s Adam Marshall was 50th in 25:54.13
Langley Christian’s Eli Kastelein was 94th in 27:04.10.