Along with a very respectable 38th-place finish - best among all Sault Ste. Marie runners - Carly Wetzl left Saturday's Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) Cross-Country Championships with some great lessons.
"It was really new to me," the Grade 9 student at Sir James Dunn said of the Thunder Bay event. "It was a really good experience that will get me prepared for years to come."
Competing in a field of 220, the 14-year-old Wetzl finished the midget girls 3.04-kilometre event in a time of 12:14.40. Although she misjudged where the finish line was, allowing a handful of runners to pass her, Wetzl was pleased with her performance.
"I knew I'd do well, but I didn't think I'd win NOSSA in Sudbury or place the highest from the Sault at OFSAA," she said. "I'm really excited about next year."
One of 226 runners in the midget boys 5.21-km event, Sean Plumley (19:17.75) of White Pines was 42nd. Matt Fabbro of St. Mary's wound up 79th, while SJD's Tom Peer was 95th.
His brother, Reg Peer, was 65th among 234 runners in the senior boys 7.08-km race. Teammate Dom Graf was 67th and John Harvey of St. Mary's 70th. SJD's Ian Connell was 90th and Joey Lachowsky 95th. No local runner was among the top 100 in senior girls, junior girls or junior boys competition. Team results were unavailable.