Tracking her Progress
Mary-Kate Cross, a CVAC-Jaguars club member, is taking her amazing track and field talents to the University of Alaska Anchorage in the fall. She’s one of the school’s prized recruits for the next term. She came to the school’s attention through the efforts of her coach John May after a brilliant track and field season last year that included tremendous relay and individual performances.
The valley’s valuable track and field resources are being pumped north through a pipeline that’s becoming fully operational from the island to Alaska.
Haleigh Lloyd of Ladysmith previously made the trek and became an instant success in the University of Alaska Anchorage track and field program. Now, Frances Kelsey student Mary-Kate Cross and her friend Lexie Scott of Victoria are heading that way after they graduate.
“My coach John (May) is so close with the Alaska coach up there,’’ explained Cross. “I think they keep an eye on a lot of John’s kids. I think they really like Vancouver Island.
“My coach has so many athletes up there. So far, there’s four of us going up there next year.’’
That’s especially good news for track and field stars in the region who will follow and may have that same option.
May has always shown a great confidence in Cross and that made the scholarship possible.
Cross also considered two Canadian schools, Trinity Western and the University of Alberta, before deciding Alaska Anchorage was right for her.
“I went on a recruiting session in the beginning of February,’’ said Cross.
Due to National Collegiate Athletic Association rules, it was a whirlwind trip made with her family to tour the university and campus and meet with the head coaches and athletic director.
“You’re only allowed to be up there 48 hours,’’ said Cross.
She was impressed with the massive indoor track and fitness centre at the university.
Athletes are expected to maintain a 3.2 Grade Point Average. That’s right up Cross’s alley, as she embarks on a four-year Bachelor of Science Physical Education program.
The scholarship will provide plenty of perks for Cross to accomplish her athletic and academic goals.
“Right now, it’s tuition and fees and all track things like spikes and our trips are paid for,’’ she said.
It could also provide for accommodation depending on performance after the first year.
“At first, I was pretty stressed out,'' said Cross. "I felt really young when I was making the decision. Now, it’s exciting.’’
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Did You Know?
Our club has not yet made it into the Guiness Book of Records, however, we do have a pretty good "track" record of achievements. Here are just a few of the more recent notables:
- Over 60% of our members return each year for another season with the club
- Our club hosts the Garriock Meet each year. Last year we had a record breaking 465 athletes attend
- Each year club members win medals at the Provincial High School Track & Field Meets
- The 2012 girls seniors 4 X 100m relay team from Francis Kelsey, with 3/4 CVAC members, won Gold and broke the Island record. Fastest time in 10 years.
- Chicago Bains smashed a 1986 provincial 80-metre hurdle record of 11.50 seconds with a personal best of 11.42.