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Monday, Dec. 11, 2017
A pre-coronation of Lo-Ellen Park track and field
2017-05-01
by Randy Pascal

Sure, 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 (9.70m).

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 Mastroianni.

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.

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