Talented in her own right, Lynnea Lobert got additional help from Mother Nature Wednesday.
The Sir James Dunn competitor, who says she "loves running in the rain and cool weather," got a boost from both, en route to winning the Senior Girls Division's five-kilometre event at the City High School Cross-Country Championships at Kinsmen Park.
In her first appearance as a senior, the 16-year-old, Grade 11 student finished in 21:25.17, edging St. Basil's Jullien Flynn, who ran the course in 21:56.77.
Korah's Sophie Kargl (22:09.59) finished third, as the Colts captured the overall girls and boys championships and the city aggregate (all points combined) title.
"It cools me down so I don't overheat," Lobert said of the intermittent rain and temperatures that hovered around 6 C Wednesday afternoon. "I just feel I run better in the rain and cool weather. It was a good race for me."
Lobert was the city junior champion a year ago and also topped the field as a Midget Division runner in Grade 9.
Flynn has now finished second to Lobert for three years in a row.
"She's a really strong runner up the hills and at the finish," Flynn said of Lobert. "We're friends and we're friendly rivals."
But while the SJD competitor enjoyed Wednesday's weather, Flynn could only shake her head.
"She likes these conditions, but I don't," the 16-year-old Flynn said. "But I was happy with the way I ran. It was a tough race."
Lobert placed third at the Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (NOSSA) meet last year, after winning the Northern Ontario crown as a midget.
Stepping into the senior ranks, she's not sure what to expect at this year's NOSSA meet, scheduled for one week from Friday in North Bay.
"There's good talent at NOSSA and I won't know about the competition until I get there," Lobert said. "My goal is to always try my best, glorify God and work hard at improving my running."
Colts cross-country coach Janis Hogan was excited by her team's aggregate championship.
Hogan, who's been teaching at Korah for 23 years, said this year's combined title is quite an accomplishment for the school.
"We're the defending boys champions, but I can't remember a time when we won the aggregate," Hogan said. "Everybody says cross-country is an individual sport, but at Korah it's all about the team. I'm very proud of every single one of our runners."
Meantime, SJD's Carly Wetzl (22:35.04) finished in fourth place, followed by the Eagles Kylie Denardo (23:30.69).
That helped the Dunn win the senior girls team title, followed by Korah.
The top two teams in each division are allowed to bring a group of five runners (which includes an alternate) to the NOSSA meet.
The top three individuals, who are not members of one of those teams, also advance.
Annie Reader (18: 43.97) of St. Basil captured the junior girls 4k by a sizable margin over Korah's Mariah Krancevich (19:52.60).
Rachel MacLennan (20:06.05) of St. Mary's was third, followed by SJD's Frances Mallinger (20:27.70).
Korah's Jaimee Carter (20:44.08) wound up fifth. The Colts and Eagles placed 1-2 in team standings.
The Dunn's Amelia Marrato (14:08.24) topped the 3k midget field, followed by teammate Marissa Lobert (14:09.35).
Mariah Fell (14: 37.07) of St. Mary's was third, followed by Allison Holley (15:19.54) of White Pines. The Wolverines Kayla Stevens (16:18.34) finished fifth.
Korah was tops in team standings, followed by White Pines.
And The Winners Are
SENIOR GIRLS 5,000 METRES
1. Lynnea Lobert (SJD) 21:25.17 seconds
2. Jullien Flynn (SB) 21:56.77
3.Sophie Kargl (K) 22:09.59
JUNIOR GIRLS 4,000 METRES
1. Annie Reader (SB) 18:43.97
2. Mariah Krancevich (K) 19:52.60
3. Rachel MacLennan (SMC) 20:06.05
MIDGET GIRLS 3,000 METRES
1. Amelia Marrato (SJD) 15:08.24
2. Marissa Lobert (SJD) 14:09.35
3. Mariah Fell (SMC) 14:37.0