LVR’s Matti Erickson (right) went stride for stride with South Delta’s Jonathan Hofer at the high school cross-country provincials. Photo submitted

Nelson’s Matti Erickson wins provincial gold in photo finish

The L.V. Rogers runner just beat out another athlete

Submitted

L.V. Rogers cross-country runner Matti Erickson has his second straight provincial gold medal.

Erickson crossed the line on Nov. 3 in the junior boys high school race tied with South Delta’s Jonathan Hofer. The runners were stride for stride the whole race, finishing with a time of 13 minutes 42 seconds.

Mark Nelson, the official time keeper, told the Star that video review and BC Athletics officials called the win in Erickson’s favour.

Erickson’s victory in Nanaimo came against 276 other runners. His victory last year was the first time a Kootenay athlete had placed on the podium since record keeping began in 1970.

“In this sport, every school competes on an even playing field regardless of size,” said Jon Francis, School District 8 principal and zone rep for the Kootenays.

“Matti was running against kids from all the biggest schools on the coast and the island, and for him to take gold two years in a row is something our district is incredibly proud of.”

It had already been a golden year for Erickson.

He took two gold medals at the B.C. Summer Games, a gold and a provincial record at the high school track and field championships, and a victory at the Nike Portland cross-country race in September.

Other LVR results in the race included: Dylan Gyr (37th), Yale Oostehuizen (134th) and Isaac Vissers (197th). In the junior girls race, Avi Waterfall finished 151st out of 239 runners.

In the senior boys race, Jasper Anders placed 180th out of 262 runners, while in the senior girls event Eva Rathgeb was 194th out of 226 athletes.

The Kootenay zone includes 50 athletes from both East and West Kootenay.

Related: Kid Flash: Matti Erickson can’t be caught

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated Erickson and Hofer shared gold. This story has been updated to reflect the official results.

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