A wide ranging scope of incoming track talent
by Randy Pascal
It's looking like several area high schools, and even some well beyond the city limit, will stand to gain from an influx of top-end track and field
talent in the next few years, a conclusion drawn from the results of the recent Rainbow Board Elementary Champions Meet hosted at Laurentian
Sure, some will argue that the rich will get richer, as Lively District Elementary standout Logan Spicer makes his way to the south end
track powerhouse that is the Lo-Ellen Park Knights program.
A gold medal winner in both the 100m and 150m and silver medallist in the high jump, Spicer started down this path in grade four, gradually increasing
his commitment to the sport over time.
"I didn't realize that I was good until I started winning," he said. "Once I realized I was good, I started to get more serious, started training." That
decision would bring Spicer in touch, initially, with Track North Athletic Club and their highly successful Bobcats program, setting the
foundation for what should be a very exciting high school career.
"I'm enjoying it more, I want to win, want to be on top," said Spicer. "I'm more muscular now, a lot taller, and my form has changed a lot. Back then,
my form was absolutely terrible. It's still not good now, but I'm working on it as hard as I can, and it's way better."
"My arms are very straight when I run and I'm pumping too much," he explained. "I need to relax them and bend them more. I'm just so excited when I race
that I forget not to get tense. It's hard to change that."
It has been a few years now since the Lasalle Lancers were in a position to compete, toe to toe, with that second level of teams at the city meet,
trying to jockey for positioning with both the Lockerby Vikings and Collège Notre-Dame Alouettes.
Adding soon-to-be graduate of Northeastern Elementary, Grace Cranston, to the fold next year will only help to bridge that gap. The 14
year-old multi sport athlete, who also enjoys soccer, was busy last week collecting multiple ribbons at the track, following her participation in the
100m dash (1st), long jump (2nd) and triple jump (1st).
"I've always done sprinting and jumping, but the 100m is probably my best," said Cranston. "I feel like I can keep my pace through the whole race. I can
start off the same as everyone else, but I feel that a few meters into the race, I can really go ahead of everyone and then keep my pace."
Despite having clocked the fastest qualifying time by more than half a second in the 100m, Cranston was still somewhat uneasy about the afternoon final
as she prepared to compete in the long jump.
"This is my last year (at Northeastern), so I really want to make this one count," she said. "The 100m is definitely the event I want to win the most,
because I have in previous years. But I do get really nervous when I do it."
Thankfully, Cranston has incorporated a couple of habits that provide a bit of a competitive advantage as she darts down the track. "I'm really focused,"
she said. "I don't really pay attention to where everyone else is. That's probably what I do best in my race."
The glut of talent is not limited to the boundaries of the City of Greater Sudbury, however. A grade seven student at C.C. McLean Elementary School
in Gore Bay, 12 year old Sophie Hietkamp captured both the high jump and the long jump, setting new records in both.
Given that a clean slate of grade seven records was introduced just three years ago, any new standard that is established must be kept in context. With
that in mind, it is fair to say that a high jump that would see Hietkamp clear the bar at 1.48 metres, or 0.04 metres better than the city midget champion
leap of OFSAA bronze medal winner Amy Connelly this spring, is impressive to say the least.
"When I was in grade one, my mom told me that she wanted to teach me to high jump," recalled Hietkamp. "I learned that and kind of liked the other events.
When I started in grade one, I was just doing a scissor jump. In grade four, I started to do the Fosbury Flop."
That progression has continued over the next few years, to the point where Hietkamp now has her "pre-jump ritual" down to a fine art form. "I like
focusing on my breathing right before, then I look straight ahead and do my first three steps," she stated.
"My last five (steps), I look at the middle of the bar. I have my specific routine." Given her commitment to the high jump, it was no small wonder that
the future Manitoulin Secondary School high schooler arrived at the Champions Meet with a very clear vision of what was achievable.
"I was hoping for 1.45 to 1.47 (meters)," she said. "So 1.48m, I was pretty happy about that. That's my new personal best. When I was jumping 1.45m, I
really felt like I was flying. That really boosted my confidence."
Following is a complete listing of the event winners from the day-long meet:
Grade 8 Girls
100m - Grace Cranston (Northeastern) - 13.30
150m - Tessa Favero (Lo-Ellen) - 20.13*
400m - Brianna Fazekas (Princess Anne) - 1:04.81
800m - Kalila Bachiu (R.H. Murray) - 2:45.76
1500m - Melody Knight (Chelmsford) - 5:34.40
Long Jump - Chandyn Bachiu (R.H. Murray) - 4.63m
Shot Put - Shandace Couchie (Monetville) - 8.69m
High Jump - Dziane Dillon (ESMC) - 1.36m
Triple Jump - Grace Cranston (Northeastern) - 9.64m
Grade 8 Boys
100m - Logan Spicer (Lively) - 12.20
150m - Logan Spicer (Lively) - 17.64*
400m - Calum Passi (Churchill) - 1:00.05
800m - Calum Passi (Churchill) - 2:22.58
1500m - Calum Passi (Churchill) - 4:41.04
Long Jump - Will Fabbro (Lo-Ellen) - 5.13m
Shot Put - Caleb Bowers (ESMC) - 11.64m
High Jump - Jacob Schweyer (Lo-Ellen) - 1.60m
Triple Jump - Junior Wilcox (Northeastern) - 11.08m
Grade 7 Girls
100m - Autumn Deschesne (Little Current) - 14.22
150m - Autumn Deschesne (Little Current) - 20.34
400m - Aoife Mahaffy (Lo-Ellen) - 1:07.55
800m - Alison Symington (Lo-Ellen) - 2:34.49*
1500m - Alison Symington (Lo-Ellen) - 5:20.60*
Long Jump - Sophie Hietkamp (C.C. McLean) - 4.29m
Shot Put - Ella Kissner (ESMC) - 8.09m
High Jump - Sophie Hietkamp (C.C. McLean) - 1.48m
Triple Jump - Whittier Gauthier (Little Current) - 8.91m
Grade 7 Boys
100m - Michael Elstub (Lo-Ellen) - 13.09
150m - Liam Conlin (Copper Cliff) - 18.71
400m - Liam Conlin (Copper Cliff) - 58.66*
800m - Trent Bell (C.C. McLean) - 2:29.67*
1500m - Ian Mackenzie (Pinecrest) - 4:55.90*
Long Jump - Liam Conlin (Copper Cliff) - 4.51m
Shot Put - Cameron Shanks (MacLeod) - 10.46m
High Jump - Ethan Scott (Lively) - 1.52m
Triple Jump - Arris Menard (MacLeod) - 9.79m
80m - Cassandra McDonald (R.L. Beattie) - 11.19
100m - Cassandra McDonald (R.L. Beattie) - 13.80
150m - Allison Nordquist (R.L. Beattie) - 20.78
High Jump - Sydney Coe (MacLeod) - 1.36m
Long Jump - Aysia Debassige (Little Current) - 4.15m
Shot Put - Charlie Dulaney (Algonquin) - 7.71m
Triple Jump - Kaja Beljo (MacLeod) - 8.22m
80m - Ashton Eadie-Chartrand (Nesbitt) - 11.26
100m - Ashton Eadie-Chartrand (Nesbitt) - 13.81
150m - André Boulet (Northeastern) - 21.01
High Jump - Wyatt Letford (Walden) - 1.40m
Long Jump - Caden Fabbro (R.L. Beattie) - 4.19m
Shot Put - Conner Broennle (Markstay) - 9.59m
Triple Jump - Dominic Morris (R.L. Beattie) - 8.47m
60m - Milena Kulik (R.L. Beattie) - 9.53
80m - Milena Kulik (R.L. Beattie) - 12.50
Long Jump - Jaya MacDonald (R.L. Beattie) - 3.29m
Standing LJ - Sarah McKechnie (Alexander) - 1.89m
High Jump - Kali Clement (Walden) - 1.19m
Softball Throw - Lileigh Dormer (Walden) - 24.24m
60m - Rhyis Arthurs (Little Current) - 9.38
80m - Rhyis Arthurs (Little Current) - 12.17
Long Jump - Rhyis Arthurs (Little Current) - 3.64m
Standing LJ - Caelan Davie (Copper Cliff) - 1.70m
High Jump - Riley Graffi (MacLeod) - 1.20m
Softball Throw - Riley Graffi (MacLeod) - 36.54m
* = new record