Hoyas XC team encourages new HHS runners, along with elementary runners at Hoya Hills Invitational


With files from Dawn Huddlestone

It’s one of the few places you don’t need to try out, you can develop a lifelong passion, and compete both on your own and as part of a team.

Huntsville High School’s cross-country running team welcomes everyone in every grade, no matter their running ability, and also spends time encouraging younger students to give running a try.

“Running is the best way to get fit, meet people, and it is a lifelong sport they can be involved in both individually and for the social aspect,” says one of the team’s coaches, Melinda Snyder. “There’s very little cost and you can do it your whole life.”

Students practice up to five days per week – Monday through Thurday after school and Friday mornings – led by student, teacher and community coaches. They are required to attend a minimum of 10 team practices in order to qualify for the GBSSAs, the area championships, but they go at their own pace and work toward personal bests.

Hoyas XC team practices at the Lookout Field (Photo: Dawn Huddlestone)

Hoyas XC team practices at the Lookout Field (Photo: Dawn Huddlestone)

It’s also a special year for Muskoka cross-country runners. In addition to the usual series of races that high school teams participate in – leading up to the GBSSA (Georgian Bay Secondary Schools Association) area championships and OFSAA (Ontario Federation of Schools Athletic Association) provincial championships – the Athletics Ontario Cross Country Championships will be held in Muskoka for the first time on November 12 at Morrison Meadows in Bracebridge.

The Athletics Ontario championships are open to runners of high school age and up.

To get younger students excited about running, the Hoyas host the annual Hoya Hills XC Invitational at Arrowhead Provincial Park for elementary students from across Muskoka. It’s always a fun-filled day with plenty of enthusiasm from the participating students.

This year’s invitational was held on Wednesday, September 27. Fourteen schools participated: Glen Orchard, Huntsville Public, Irwin Memorial, Monck, Muskoka Beechgrove, Muskoka Christian School, Muskoka Montessori, Pine Glen, Riverside, Saint Mary’s, Spruce Glen, Tawingo College, V.K. Greer, and Watt.

There are always lots of smiles at the Hoya Hills XC Invitational (Photo: Kim Small)

There are always lots of smiles at the Hoya Hills XC Invitational (Photo: Kim Small)

More than 600 students from grades 1 through 8 challenged themselves to cross the finish line with their personal best. The top eight finishers from each age group were:

Grade 1/2 Boys:

  1. Kyliam Coulombe – Spruce Glen
  2. Ryder Stewart – V.K. Greer
  3. Carter Quinlan – Saint Mary’s
  4. Myles Wilson – Riverside
  5. James Habel – Muskoka Beechgrove
  6. Leroy Dellow – Muskoka Beechgrove
  7. Theo Davis – Riverside
  8. Clarke Natoli – Riverside

Grade 1/2 Girls:

  1. Emily Parry – Muskoka Montessori
  2. Soleiah Oke – Spruce Glen
  3. Caitlin Farley – Muskoka Montessori
  4. Liliana Henderson –Riverside
  5. Isabella Demarco-Treadwell – Irwin
  6. Emily Marriott – Muskoka Beechgrove
  7. Iley Dennings-Groomes – Pine Glen
  8. Rixy, Bigelow – Riverside

Grade 3/4 Boys:

  1. Hunter Livingstone – Glen Orchard
  2. Seth Cushman – Spruce Glen
  3. Myles Eywald – Huntsville Public
  4. Blake Morrison – Glen Orchard
  5. Avery SHirtliff – Saint Mary
  6. Dylan Bennett – Riverside
  7. Brett Harland – Muskoka Beechgrove
  8. Owen Bunn – Watt

Grade 3/4 Girls:

  1. Alexandra Marsden – Monck
  2. Kristen Marshall – Riverside
  3. Leah Maxwell – Huntsville Public
  4. Sierra Barrie – Monck
  5. Layla Markham – Irwin
  6. Paisley Bullen – Huntsville Public
  7. Hannah Singleton – Riverside
  8. Taylor Shakespeare – Spruce Glen

Grade 5/6 Boys:

  1. Miles Carreau
  2. Keegan Brown – Muskoka Beechgrove
  3. Carson James – Monck
  4. Daniel Parry – Muskoka Montessori
  5. Gavin Cardwell – Monck
  6. Angus Cairns – Monck
  7. Noah Golt – Riverside
  8. Adam Yungblut – Spruce Glen

Grade 5/6 Girls:

  1. Leah Richter – V.K. Greer
  2. Carolyn Yungblut – Spruce Glen
  3. Sydney Freeman – Monck
  4. Kaed Hornick-Martin – Monck
  5. Regan French – Monck
  6. Elsie Moore – Riverside
  7. Danica Clark – Monck
  8. Keira Marshall – Riverside

Grade 7/8 Boys:

  1. Sam Richter – V.K. Greer
  2. Brock Fry – Monck
  3. Braeden Horvath-Thompson – Muskoka Montessori
  4. Charlie Maslin – Tawingo College
  5. Dominic Veitch – V.K. Greer
  6. Nathan Thompson – Spruce Glen
  7. Leland Whipp – Muskoka Beech Grove
  8. Curtis Mayka – Monck

Grade 7/8 Girls:

  1. Eve Carreau
  2. Chloe Punkari – Spruce Glen
  3. Laura Yungblut – Spruce Glen
  4. Clara Pringle – Muskoka Beechgrove
  5. Talia George
  6. Mya Marshall – Huntsville Public
  7. Nadia Parsons – Spruce Glen
  8. Hailey Clarke – Spruce Glen

Congratulations to all of the runners and thank you to all of the volunteers who made the 2017 Hoya Hills XC Invitational possible for so many young athletes.

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