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When Thomas Morgan took part in the Cross Country Provincials on Oct. 19, he never expected to place first.

The Grade 4 student at Bloomfield Elementary School ran in the Pre Novice Boy’s category against runners from across the province.

Taking place at the Mill River Campground, Mr Morgan initially started the race further back.

“When we came into the little path, I was only in the top 20, and I thought ‘Uh oh, that’s not good,’ so I had to kind of sprint through there,” he said. “At the end, it was just me, Brady (Allison), and Ty (Murnaghan). Ty was first, Brady was second by then.”

While he had fun, weather leading up to provincials, was less than optimal, meaning training was affected.

“We would do some running around the gym, but nothing compared to what he would have been doing at the track at Mill River,” said Amanda Kenny, the physical education teacher at Bloomfield Elementary School. 

The day of provincials also proved to be very wet. Mr Morgan said it rained when boys in an older group ran, but stopped in time for the Pre Novice Boys to do their run, adding a regret that he should have worn cleats because the grass was really wet.

Initially, Mr Morgan was in third place, but the runners ahead of him accidentally made a wrong turn because they were unfamiliar with the course of the track. 

“Whenever we were running, there were no cones at one place, so Ty thought you had to go (one) way,” he explained.

“Brady (also) turned that way, and then he started following me  because I didn’t go that way. He ran around the cone and Ty had to sprint back to catch up to Brady and me.”

Mr Morgan has been running for the last two years, and became involved because his parents, Heidi and Matthew, also ran cross country at his age. He said he enjoys running because he can run against his friends and congratulate them at the end of the race.

Doing the one and a half kilometre run was a bit of a challenge, but he’s glad he persevered.

“On the run, when the horn blew, I felt like ‘Why did I do this?’ I didn’t want to do it at all, but after I came in first, that was just the best,” said Mr Morgan.

Along with coming in first, Mr Morgan improved his time. 

When the cross country zone meet took place on Oct. 9, he finished with a time of five minutes and 55 seconds. At provincials, his time was five minutes and 50 seconds.

This was Mr Morgan’s final cross country event of the year. He said crossing the finish line in first place felt amazing. Along with Ms Kenny, he wanted to thank two other people who are very important to him.

“I want to say thanks to my parents, because they helped out a lot.”

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