Surrey high school athletes climbing mountains

SURREY — Even though he is no longer officially a coach for Kwantlen Park Secondary, Scott Kent has remained in charge of their cross-country program.

Kent, who is also the head coach of Coastal Track Club, started working with student athletes at Earl Marriott Secondary when he moved to South Surrey last year.

But he was told that if he didn’t coach the eight students at Kwantlen Park as well, the team would have dissolved.

That is something Kent wouldn’t be able to accept after winning 13 banners over nine years.

He said most of the crosscountry talent comes from Surrey with one of the top three boys at the provincials usually coming from the City of Parks.

"As a whole, people come from other areas to race in Surrey because the talent is usually here. This year, it’s not as strong," he said.

However, even though this year’s class isn’t as strong, Kent believes the future is very bright for both Kwantlen Park and Earl Marriott.

The coach, who also oversees middle-distance runners at Trinity Western University, said he is looking forward to see the development of Daniel Vas of Kwantlen Park and Sterling Ginthir of Earl Marriott.

Vas, who is currently in Grade 10, competed at the provincial championships as a part of the senior team last season, finishing with a time of 26:14.40.

"He’s running great," said Kent.

"He’s doing exactly what Tim (Delcourt) and Justin (Kent) did when they went through the ranks."

Kent thinks Vas will have a breakout year, finishing among the top 25 in the province this time around.

As for Ginthir, Kent believes he is currently one of the strongest crosscountry runners in Surrey right now and expects him to finish close to the top five in the Fraser Valley Championships.

In order to get to the provincials this year, local teams will have to fundraise.

On Nov. 1, hundreds of runners will run the track at West Shore Parks in Victoria.

Kent said that the schools don’t budget to cover the expenses for travel and accommodation, but they look forward to it.

This means no students will be able to partake in the pre-provincial race on Tuesday (Oct. 14) on the same track.

Kent doesn’t think that would have made much of a difference.