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Sunday, Jul. 22, 2018
No locals at Legion Nationals this year
by Randy Pascal

Jenna Fleming, a thrower from Hilton Beach (located on St Joseph Island), will be the only District "H" representative who will travel to the Canadian Legion Track & Field Championships this year.

That said, several local teenagers cemented their spots as rising stars through their performance at the Provincial Legions in Windsor earlier this month.

After seemingly coming out of nowhere to capture a bronze medal at OFSAA in the midget girls high jump, Amy Connelly has continued to prove the performance was no fluke. Sailing over the bar at 1.58m at Legions - she cleared 1.55m to finish third at OFSAA - Connelly picked up her second podium finish at a top end all-Ontario competition this summer, earning bronze once again.

More importantly, she was right there with the front-runners, with silver medal winner Emma Lemiux of Kitchener also at 1.58m, and gold medallist Nicola Jackman of London just slightly ahead at 1.61 metres.

Multi-sport talent Mireille Kingsley ran into some familiar faces, finishing fifth in the 15U Girls Javelin (30.81m), after placing fourth at OFSAA last month with a throw of 31.60 metres.

The runaway winner, both times, was Cambridge sensation Alexandria Webb, recording distances of 40.78m at OFSAA and 39.49m at Legions, with no other competitor throwing better than 36.25 metres.

Sprinter Christina Robert solidified her sub-13 base with a pair of runs in the 100m dash, qualifying for the 15U Girls final in a time of 12.92 seconds, and lowering that slightly with a 12.86 clocking to finish sixth.

Robert had run 12.85 to win gold at NOSSA, but could not repeat the performance at OFSAA, crossing the line in 13.02 seconds for a middle of the field placement. Ironically, she posted exactly the same time, down to the hundreds of a second, with a 26.38 second run in the 200m at both Legions and OFSAA.

Testing herself in a field of seven athletes, Jaclyn Groom placed fourth in the 17U Heptathlon, racking up 3744 points, a performance which included a first place finish in the javelin and second place in both the long jump and shot put.

Because of the different distances that are used at Legion meets, it's difficult to put a pair of races that Lo-Ellen midget Kendyn Mashinter ran into perspective, although one would think that his results in both the 1200m (3:25.65 - 4th) and the 2000m (6:10.14 - 5th) would leave the Track North Athletic Club runner quite pleased.

A somewhat similar story for Nicholas Burke of Lasalle, who placed third in the 15U Boys 200m hurdles (27.30 seconds) and the high jump (1.72m), though he had indicated that he hoped to hit 1.80m or so, after winning the city championship in May with a jump of 1.83 metres.

Kurtis Wennerstrom earned silver medals in both the long jump (6.07m) and triple jump (12.33m), with both distances within reasonable range of his 2017 PBs of 6.17m (NOSSA - long jump) and 12.60m (OFSAA - triple jump).

Finally, Colin Therrien competed in his first Octathlon at provincials, amassing 3624 points over the course of eight events, good enough for a fifth place finish in a field of six athletes. His best placements came in the javelin (1st - 45.29m), the 100m dash (2nd - 11.80 seconds) and the long jump (3rd - 5.92m).

The 2017 Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships will be hosted from August 11th to the 13th in Brandon, Manitoba, returning to the same host city in 2018 as well.

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