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Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2019
Hietkamp high-jump and other track highlights
by Randy Pascal

It might seem hard to believe, but it is actually the elementary school sports schedule that officially closes out the 2017-2018 calendar year. With the Rainbow Pentathlon coming directly on the heels of the Challenger and Champions track and field meets last week, the grade eight and under crew compete about a week longer than their secondary school co-horts.

Only fitting then that the season should end with a bang.

After staging the complete series of RE (Errol) Gibson Memorial Elementary Track and Field meets in June without a new record being set, the afore-mentioned Champions competition produced no less than three new standards for the books.

The accomplishments were shared by athletes from grades seven and eight, though the records for the former were re-set back in 2014. That wasn’t about to slow down Carson Crane of Valley View Public School, who had a very good handle on the 1500m grade seven boys mark that was established, last year, by fellow Valley East native Ian Mackenzie (4:55.90).

“My coach (Jill Dutrisac), she was timing me every lap, so she was telling me where I was at,” noted Crane, one of two twin boys in the family (minutes older than Kohen) who are also quite prominent in the local minor hockey scene. “I wanted to get a big lead at the start, so I didn’t have to worry too much.”

“I kept wanting to time my lap, every time, so that I could be the record,” Crane continued. “That was my goal. I was pretty confident, because I was really close to the record last time (at the preliminary meet), and at my school, I beat it by five seconds.”

As for Mackenzie, he did retain his 1500m title within the grade 8 competition, though following a similar race strategy to Crane almost backfired for the Confederation Secondary student who out-clocked Patrick Wiss of Macdonald-Cartier by about four seconds (4:58.07 vs 5:02.49). “I wanted to kill it off the start, so I could try and get a gap, and I killed myself too much,” said Mackenzie, who kicked off his summer triathlon schedule, with his family, this past weekend in Peterborough.

Meanwhile, things might be a little tense in the Nordquist household for a few days after Allison (grade 7 – Lo-Ellen) erased the mark that was previously held by her older sister, Hannah. The younger sibling sprinted to a time of 29:05 seconds to capture the 200m dash, shaving 2/100’s of a second off the previous best time from 2016.

The most impressive performance of the day, however, came courtesy of Manitoulin Island high jumper Sophie Hietkamp. There was a buzz in the air when the final event of the day would see the senior at Charles C McLean Public School (Gore Bay) clear the bar on her second attempt at 1.55 metres, bettering the mark by Judy Taylor (Copper Cliff Public) that had stood since 1977.

But when Hietkamp then proceeded to nail her first jump at 1.58m, it created one of those indelible moments in time that is not likely to soon leave the memories of any of those in attendance who can appreciate the relative significance of her feat. And she wasn’t alone in trumpeting Island athletic pride.

Autumn Deschenes (Little Current Public) took home gold in both the grade eight 100m (13.81) and 200m (28.35) events, crossing the line almost a full half second ahead of the field in the shorter of the two dashes. “When I was younger, I would always hang around some of the older kids, and they were all really fast, so I started doing track with them,” said Deschenes. “That’s pretty much how I got into it.”

As for the race itself, Deschenes remains thankful that it's all over before she gives it much thought. "At the beginning, I get really nervous, but I just focus on my land and try and run," she said. "During the race itself, I try and just look forward and beat my personal best (time), so I try and look at the clock."

Remaining seniors whose winning performances measured up quite well against the results posted by athletes over the course of the past five decades included Josh McKay (Nesbitt – 100m – 12.19), Liam Conlin (Copper Cliff – 400m – 57.94) and Katie Pilon (ESMC – shot put – 9.47m), while both Allison Symington (LOE – 400m/800m/1500m) and Dax Mazzuchin (MacLeod – HJ/LJ/TJ) emerged as three events champions.

And while the records may not be quite as deeply enshrined at the competition that is the year-end track and field championship for the CSCNO (Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario), that certainly doesn’t mean that there were not some highlight reel moments being produced by students from the 12 schools that assembled at Laurentian University earlier in the week.

Yet another product of twins in the family, Isabelle DeCaen from Félix-Ricard captured the long jump, with ease, soaring 4.15 metres. Thankfully, she has always had a ready-made motivator, athletically speaking, right at her side.

“We’re both competitive,” noted DeCaen, her brother Kaleb finishing second in the 800m race. “For running, he has more endurance, but for speed, he’s probably gotten a little faster now. I was faster in sprints, but then we switched. He got taller.”

The good news is that she need not compete against her sibling, faring much better when pitted against her own sex. "I thought I did amazing," she said. "I made sure I was putting my body in the front, first, and made sure that I jump with my left foot, not my right."

The puberty-based growth spurt, noted earlier, especially within teenage boys, can have a profound effect on the comfort in which the young lads jump into their athletic endeavours. Just ask Zacharie Leblanc, a grade seven student at Ste Marie (Azilda), who took top spot in the high jump (1.54m), as well as anchoring his team to a win in the 4 X 100m relay.

“When I was younger, I didn’t really like sports,” said Leblanc. “Two years ago, I grew a lot. I grew around a foot in just one summer.” While there was some soreness in his knees that had to be overcome, the 12 year old now has the confidence to enter the competitive fray with a clear concept of exactly what needs to be done.

“In the high jump, I focused on height and footwork,” he said. “I am making sure I am jumping off the right foot at the right place, around the middle of the bar, so that I have more space to jump.” Leblanc would rank as one of only two athletes who would finish first in more than one event, adding the long jump to his resume (4.82m), and joined in this elite grouping by Meghan Papineau of St Pierre (100m in 13.10; 200m in 28.02).

Following is a listing of the senior winners at both of the elementary track meets:

Rainbow - Grade 8 - Boys
100m dash - Josh McKay (Nesbitt) - 12.19
200m dash - Liam Conlin (Copper Cliff) - 25.43
400m - Liam Conlin (Copper Cliff) - 57.94
800m - Noah Beaulne (Hanmer) - 2:30.62
1500m - Ian Mackenzie (Confederation) - 4:58.07
Long Jump - Dax Mazzuchin (MacLeod) - 4.78m
Shot Put - Cameron Shanks (MacLeod) - 10.98m
High Jump - Dax Mazzuchin (MacLeod) - 1.58m
Triple Jump - Dax Mazzuchin (MacLeod) - 10.44m

Rainbow - Grade 8 - Girls
100m dash - Autumn Deschenes (Little Current) - 13.81
200m dash - Autumn Deschenes (Little Current) - 28.35
400m - Allison Symington (Lo-Ellen) - 1:04.97
800m - Allison Symington (Lo-Ellen) - 2:38.05
1500m - Allison Symington (Lo-Ellen) - 5:25.76
Long Jump - Sophie Hietkamp (CC McLean) - 4.74m
Shot Put - Katie Pilon (Macdonald-Cartier) - 9.47m
High Jump - Sophie Hietkamp (CC MCLean) - 1.58
Triple Jump - Ali Bertrim (Lo-Ellen) - 9.70m

Rainbow - Grade 7 - Boys
100m dash - Bryce Firman (C.R. Judd) - 13.23
200m dash - André Boulet (Northeastern) -27.47
400m - Cale Bast (Northeastern) - 1:03.56
800m - Brayden Ethier-Perras (Valley View) - 2:36.41
1500m - Carson Crane (Valley View) - 4:46.94
Long Jump - Caden Fabbro (Lo-Ellen) - 4.44m
Shot Put - Conner Broennle (Markstay) - 9.89m
High Jump - Wyatt Letford (Lively) - 1.50m
Triple Jump - Cale Bast (Northeastern) - 9.94m

Rainbow - Grade 7 - Girls
100m dash - Julia Arnold (Lo-Ellen) - 14.21
200m dash - Allison Nordquist (Lo-Ellen) - 29.05
400m - Allison Nordquist (Lo-Ellen) - 1:06.27
800m - Samantha Bourdon (Lo-Ellen) - 2:44.05
1500m - Samantha Bourdon (Lo-Ellen) - 5:34.73
Long Jump - Jordyn Vildis (Lively) - 3.97m
Shot Put - Hope Brohart (Geiger) - 7.79m
High Jump - Sydney Coe (MacLeod) - 1.41m
Triple Jump - Sydney Coe (MacLeod) - 8.61m

CSCNO - Grades 7/8 - Boys
100m dash - Jacob Jacques (Felix-Ricard) - 12.30
200m dash - Kohen Lecuyer (Felix-Ricard) - 27.60
400m - Cameron B (Alliance St Joseph) - 1:00.50
800m - Noah Brazier (Jean Paul II) - 2:31.20
1500m - Brayden Lafrance (Jean-Paul II) - 5:16.05
Long Jump - Zacharie Leblanc (Ste Marie) - 4.82m
Shot Put - Miguel Pitre (Ste Thérèse) - 10.46m
Triple Jump - Kobie Duff (St Charles Borromée) - 10.79m
High Jump - Zacharie Leblanc (Ste-Marie) - 1.54m

CSCNO - Grades 7/8 - Girls
100m dash - Meghan Papineau (St Pierre) - 13.10
200m dash - Meghan Papineau (St Pierre) - 28.02
400m - Maija Voltenen (St Pierre) - 1:11.10
800m - Halle Bertrim (St Denis) - 2:58.70
1500m - Amélie Bradley (Notre-Dame - Hanmer) - 5:53.04
Long Jump - Isabelle DeCaen (Felix-Ricard) - 4.15m
Shot Put - Emma C (Alliance St Joseph) - 9.59m
Triple Jump - Carissa Baron (St Augustin) - 7.98m
High Jump - Michelle Scratch (Felix-Ricard) - 1.41m

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