Originally a means of preparing for the cross-country skiing season, Jack Carlyle's move to cross-country running has become much more than a mere warm-up.
Carlyle, a 15-year-old Grade 10 student at Korah Collegiate, was the top Sault finisher at Saturday's Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations cross-country championships in Sarnia.
He ran the 6,200-metre junior boys course in 21:40.5, good enough for 30th place in a field of 232 competitors.
With his help, the Colts junior boys team, rounded out by Steven Erickson, Mackie Edwards and Brad Pawson, finished in 13th place out of 38 teams.
As midgets last year, the Colts finished 26th in the province.
"It feels great," said Carlyle, who was second at last week's Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association championships. "I feel like I had a great race and that our team performance was really good. To help my team do well, that's a big accomplishment."
The 2008 cross-country season was Carlyle's first since entering high school. He played junior football in Grade 9.
"But I was always a long-distance runner," Carlyle said. "And I'm a competitive cross-country skier, so I thought this would be a good way to prepare for that."
Sir James Dunn's Tyler Davie was also in the top 50, finishing the race in 22:10.0 for 44th place.
On the junior girls side, Sir James Dunn's Lynnea Lobert was 33rd our of 229 competitors, completing the 4,290- metre course in 16:51.7.
Lobert's finish helped an Eagles team that included Kylie Denardo, Catherine Mallinger and Anna Lees finish 21st out of 36 junior girls teams.
Julien Flynn of St. Basil also scored a top-50 finish Saturday. She was 41st in the junior girls race with a time of 17:01.7.
The Eagles senior girls team of Nora-Beth Saunders, Hilary Mallinger, Carly Wetzl, Chelsea Griswold and Alexis Shamess was 30th out of 36 entries.
SJD's midget girls team, composed of Francis Mallinger, Madison Mascardelli, Danielle Dupuis and Lauren Stitt, was 37th out of 38 teams.