not all of the local high schools were represented at
the 2017 Black Flies Track & Field Meet Saturday at
Laurentian University. Truth be told, perhaps only slightly
more than half of the contingent that will be on hand
for the SDSSAA Championships later this month made an
appearance at the first local event of the outdoor season.
But with 19 individual first place finishes,
and a large grouping of relay victories as well, it’s
a very safe bet that coach Colin Ward and the Lo-Ellen
Park Knights will be adding another track & field
banner to their already impressive collection.
That said, there were plenty of intriguing
storylines that developed over the course of the day,
as athletes from a handful of Sudbury institutions were
joined by solid delegations from North Bay and Timmins,
as well as some impressive talent donning the school colours
of W.C Eaket in Blind River.
Already blessed with the deepest pool
of track talent in the city, the Knights will benefit
from the transfer of junior Christina Robert from Lockerby,
the OFSAA fourth place finisher who dominated in both
the 100m (12.10 seconds) and 200m (26.99).
Sydney Tarini established herself as the
runner to beat in the senior 1500m race, easily capturing
first place in a time of 5:16.79, while several Lo-Ellen
midgets also made an immediate impression. Fiona Symington
(800m – 2:46.59), Meredith Kusnierczyk (1500m –
5:30.23) and Briana Endanawas (high jump – 1.35m)
are among the grade nine Lo-Ellen talent to watch.
Yet the most decorated female athlete
of the day was not a Knight, but rather Harmony Martel
of Lockerby, as the Vikings senior captured first place
in the 100m (13.20), long jump (4.60m) and triple jump
Other noteworthy local performances in
the girls event included a solid midget triple jump victory
for Lady Wolves stalwart goaltender Mireille Kingsley
of College Notre-Dame (9.13m), as well as closer one for
Lo-Ellen junior Nathalie Marks de Chabris in the 800m,
outkicking a pair of competitors by less than two seconds.
Bronwyn Mantle of Lo-Ellen took first
place in the junior girls 80m hurdles (15.21), teammate
Kat Tasch topped the field in the junior girls high jump
(1.46m), Jayde Hurley (1:07.10) bested Sonya McCaffrey
of Marymount in the junior girls 400m sprint, while Megan
Wickie earned gold in the 200m dash (28.95 seconds).
Finally, Emily Dodge might be only in
grade eight but she is already making a name for herself,
crossing the line in 11:50.84 in the Open Girls 3000m
race, four seconds better than St Benedict freshman Isabella
Over on the boys side, the Lo-Ellen junior
juggernaut is already in full gear as Lucas Mrozewski
(400m – 54.96 seconds), Colin Therrien (long jump
– 5.92m) and Callum Bruser (triple jump –
12.80m) all broke meet records.
The junior boys 1500m race promises to
be a dandy, as Augustin Marks de Chabris (4:39.18) just
barely held off Connor Jermyn (4:30.60) in a battle of
Lo-Ellen teammates. The incoming male class at the home
of the Knights showed the potential that coach Ward is
likely to mold as Kendyn Mashinter (800m – 2:18.96),
Giordano Biondi (triple jump – 11.21m) and Laydon
Bursey (high jump - 1.60m) all earned first place ribbons.
The St Benedict Bears have welcomed another
talented sprinter to the fold as Max Villano swept both
the midget boys 100m (12.44) and 200m dash (25.51). Competing
under their affiliation with Track North Athletic Club,
Zacharie Mainville (JB 100m – 11.37), Eric Struk
(JB 200m – 23.67) and Carter Struk (SB 100m –
11.70; 200m – 24.51) all walked off with bragging
rights in their respective distances.
After missing out on competing last year,
Lasalle Secondary senior Noah Lapierre was adamant about
giving the high jump one more shot prior to heading to
join the Brock Badgers basketball program in the fall.
The former city champion looked in mid-season form, clearing
the bar at 1.90 metres.
Other local winners included Matt Savoie
of Lockerby in the senior boys 400m, clocking in at 58.24
seconds, with Jarrod Paypompee in second at 58.64. An
OFSAA medal winner in years gone by, Mathieu Plamondon
of Ecole Secondaire catholique Theriault in Timmins cruised
to victory in both the senior boys 1500m (4:13.83) and
3000m (9:13.66) races, setting new records in both.
“In spite of the cool and windy
challenging conditions, this meet was a positive team
building experience,” noted Ward. “It’s
a good training meet. Athletes need several meets to bring
out their potential, or to reveal their winter training
efforts. This meet serves them well in this regard.”
A number of the local athletes who fared
well on Saturday are expected to be back in action next
weekend in North Bay.