Korah Colts' Clyde Bridge
By PETER RUICCI, The Sault Star, October 17, 2001
Korah running ace set to keep reeling in
His confidence bolstered, Korah Colts' runner Clyde Bridge is ready to achieve all three of his goals. The first for the 17-year-old, is to win Thursday's City High School Cross-Country Meet at Hiawatha Trails. Bridge, who competes in the Junior Division, would like to follow up with a Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (NOSSA) title Oct. 26 in Manitoulin and a top-three finish at the Nov. 3 Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations finals in Ottawa.
And, based on his talent and his first-place finish last weekend at the National Capital Invitational Meet in Ottawa, all three appear definitely attainable.
Racing against most of the top runners in Ontario, the six-foot, 155-pound, Grade 12 student, won the Junior Boys' 6-kilometre event in 20:13.
Bridge trailed the leader by 60 metres, 2k into the race.
``But I slowly reeled him in,'' said Bridge, who placed 24th at OFSAA a year ago after capturing city and NOSSA honours.
Not wanting to expend too much energy, Bridge bided his time, finally overtaking his opponent as the pair reached the top of a hill, 4k into the event.
``We were both tired, but I kept up a strong pace to try and burn him out,'' Bridge explained. ``He couldn't handle it. Winning felt great. I wasn't sure how I'd measure up against the southern Ontario runners. But this gives me a lot of confidence.''
Bridge's coach, Chris Trainor, who's been running and coaching for 15 years, says he's never worked with anyone as talented.
``I don't want to put pressure on him (Bridge) by calling him the favorite, but he has a good opportunity to medal at OFSAA,'' said Trainor. ``He has an excellent stride, excellent endurance and he's just a natural runner. his distance is new to him, but if he runs as well as he can, he can medal at OFSAA.''
Winning medals at that level is nothing new for Bridge. He's won provincial Junior Division gold medals in the 800m event at each of the last two all-Ontario meets. Last spring, Bridge also secured a fourth in the 400m. But he hadn't done a lot of distance training until this year. During the summer, he and Trainor ran together four or five times per week.
``He (Bridge) did an excellent job with his training,'' Trainor said. ``He's in excellent long-distance shape.''
Bridge, who figures his good friend, Rocky Robitaille of St. Mary's, will provide his biggest test Thursday, plans to run ``at a strong tempo.''
Though he admits the 800m is his specialty, Bridge is excited about running a distance of 6k at the city meet.
``It's a lot different running track and running cross-country,'' he said. ``Besides the distances, the conditions are a lot different. But I'm happy with my speed and endurance and I'm confident. I'm excited about the city meet but I'm focusing everything on OFSAA.''
Thursday's competition begins with the Midget Girls' 3k at 12:30 p.m. The Junior Girls' 4k (1 p.m.), Midget Boys' 5k (1:30 p.m.), Senior Girls' 5k (2 p.m.), Junior Boys' 6k (2:30 p.m.) and Senior Boys' 7k (3 p.m.) follow.