Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

OFSAA bound!

Wow! The Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) Mustangs are sending six runners to the all-Ontario cross-country championships this coming weekend in Peterborough. The rest of the team put in an amazing effort this year and finished their season at their best. Uber-dedicated coach Gerry Holliday and his program that he put the Black and Gold through is not for the ‘faint of heart,’ but rather for the ‘full of guts!’ Mr. Holliday even put off his move to North Bay in order to see his charges through the duration. The complete coach put together a synopsis of the team’s accomplishments. 

“Today at the Northern Ontario championships, MSS scored some remarkable results.” The future looks bright for the team if they can get a few more devoted runners like novice boy Xavi Mara, who finished in seventh place, with his efforts earning him a spot on the Mustang bus to the provincial championships through OFSAA, the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations. 

“The junior girls’ team comprised of Maren Kasunich, Mackenzie Green, Annie Balfe and Morgan Green won their division by six points over powerhouse Lo-Ellen out of Sudbury. Maren, despite nursing a knee injury she sustained just days ago, dominated her field, winning by a substantial margin. It was in this race where it proved just how much a team sport cross-country running really is when Morgan Green put in a gutsy performance to seal victory for her team. In the junior boys’ division, Brodie Pennie laid down a strong showing, placing third in his category. These six individuals will advance to the OFSAA championships held on November 6 just outside Peterborough.” 

“Throughout this season, the thirteen members of this team have all worked hard to put their best effort into each and every race. Though the season for competing has wrapped up for some, they continue to show their true belief in our total team concept. Some members have stated that they will continue to come to the practices to help show support to the other team members who continue to race. Other members on this team that both ‘Coach 65’ and myself are so proud of include Andrew Cooper, Patrick McCann, Orland O’Hearn Carter, Julian Wemigwans, Alan Wilkin, Jack Pennie and Landon Hare.” 

“In wrapping up our NOSSA running journey, it must be mentioned that such success would not be possible if not for some people who generously have given their own personal time and effort. To Tina Balfe who, time and time again, has supplied runners with rides part-way to the track at Lakeview School for workouts, and last but not least the head custodian at Lakeview School: Adam Roy, who often has leveled out the track so that practices could be held on a safe running surface. Thanks as well to Derek Debassige and his staff at Manitoulin Physio for their prompt response in looking after Maren’s knee injury just prior to her race. Next stop… OFSAA!”

Incidentally, in looking back through the NOSSA records, it was nine years ago that Manitoulin Secondary won the overall (aggregate) title by a strong margin. Hopefully, with this tiny team’s success due to their hard work, they will inspire more to join next year’s team and restore the Mustangs back to their whole team having the 2021 team’s results. Nulli Secundus!

Virtual cross-country contest

Noojmowin Teg is currently hosting a virtual cross-country race and all youth (11 to 14 years of age), living in the District of Manitoulin, Espanola and area are eligible. To enter, all you have to do is run or walk a two-kilometre course and send in a picture of yourself finishing and your time. Participants will be entered in a draw to win some amazing prizes including: a Garmin Forerunner 45s Watch, a $100 gift certificate for new shoes from Breakaway Sports, Hydrapacks (valued at $100) and a $50 gift certificate from Sport Chek. Have fun and good luck!

All participants will be invited to meet Canada’s National Women’s cross-country champion and Olympian, Genevieve Lalonde, through Zoom on Monday, November 22 at 6 pm. Pictures and times can be submitted through Nooj’s Facebook page or emailed to Mark Peltier at

A good sport is good for sports.