With silver and gold medals in hand along with some remarkable finishes, the St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) Varsity Cross Country Team capped off a successful season back on the trails since the pandemic began.
“It was still a very unusual year due to cohorting and COVID protocols, however, Coach Antolin, Coach Bergin, and I were happy to have been able to train these athletes and allow them to get to know each other and re-connect with their peers,” says Paul Fitzpatrick ’95, History Department Head and coach of the SMCS Varsity Cross Country Team. “Aside from the wonderful race performances, the feeling of camaraderie was our biggest success.”
On November 6, 2021, the team competed at the OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) Cross Country Running Championships at Lakefield College School.
The Novice Boys (Grade 9) team took home a silver medal for their accumulated score which included an individual gold medal effort by Dallas St. John for placing first out of 164 runners! Teammates, Benjamin Ottey with a 6th place finish, Thomas Arciero in 13th, Carter Albiani in 50th, and Declan Insley in 70th, rounded out the team’s impressive performance.
“Dallas has a wonderfully joyful disposition. He is a supportive teammate and hard-working athlete,” says Fitzpatrick. “He embodies the values and demeanour that we expect from all of our student-athletes at St. Michael's College School, and certainly on the Varsity Cross Country Team.”
“I am honoured to be a part of the cross country legacy at St. Mike’s. It means the world to me that I can continue in this rich tradition of running and be part of the SMCS community with many other outstanding athletes,” says St. John. “Over the last month, I’ve received some amazing training at SMCS which greatly benefited me and my teammates. I feel we have some of the best coaches at SMCS which assisted me in winning OFSAA and helped our novice team finish second.”
Over the last 10 years, the Varsity Cross Country Team has captured a total of 11 OFSAA titles, including two gold medals, four silver, and one bronze as well as two overall men’s team OFSAA championship titles.
“This is indeed a remarkable accomplishment for Dallas St. John,” adds Fitzpatrick. “I was very fortunate to be a coach of the Varsity Cross Country Team when another outstanding young man from St. Michael's captured the Individual OFSAA Championship as the fastest runner in the province, and his name, as we all know, is Justyn Knight ’14! Perhaps Dallas has some new goals to set, and some Double Blue footprints to follow in.”
St. John is the second SMCS student-athlete to win an individual OFSAA championship since Knight’s run in 2013.
“I’m also grateful for my teammates who push me to do better, but are fun to be around and are always so supportive,” says St. John. “It’s also great to follow in the footsteps of our great Canadian Olympian and SMCS alumnus, Justyn Knight!”
The Junior Cross Country Team represented SMCS with four runners: Keaton Wells who finished in 73rd, Jack Major in 105th, Andrew Miranda in 111th, and Giovanni Rasetta in 123rd out of 179 competitors.
In the final race of the day, Maxwell Roy placed 67th out of 182 on the Senior Boys team.
Watch the Novice Boys' race on the OFSAA Cross Country YouTube channel.