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Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2019
Old records give way to the new ones at city track
by Randy Pascal

Dan Gardiner (Chelmsford – 2005), Eili Kleppe (Lockerby – 2009) and Rachel Leck (Lockerby – 2012) have all given way.

So too did Adriana Duncan (Confederation – 2017), but she was quick to offset that with a new mark of her own as day one of the high-school track and field championships debuted at Laurentian University.

In fact, the new records that were established came from a rather interesting cross-section of athletes, some of whom we have become quite accustomed to hearing from the past few years, and others who are only beginning to build their resumι.

Accomplished Lo-Ellen jumper Kurtis Wennerstrom, an OFSAA bronze medal winner last June, took down the longest standing standard of the quintet, erasing the previous SDSSAA record of 13.55m (Gardiner) with a leap of 13.61m in the senior boys triple jump.

Such is the caliber that he has reached that his noteworthy jump was still open to critique from the athlete himself. “Right now, I'm still working on my balance,” said Wennerstrom. “I'm not completely balanced when I am jumping. I need to keep my upper body up, instead of forward, because I lose some distance when I am falling forward.”

A grade nine student who transferred from Macdonald-Cartier to Champlain midway through her first year of secondary schooling, Madison Soulliere got the Requins into the record book, thanks to a height of 1.48 metres that she cleared in the midget girls high jump, barely eclipsing the 1.47 mark that had stood for a decade for Kleppe.

"I used to do long jump, used to be really good at long jump, but then is grade seven, I started doing high jump at Mac Jack (Macdonald-Cartier)," noted Soulliere. "I've done gymnastics and it seems to help my high jump, because the back arch is so much easier. At the beginning of practice for high jump, I always do a couple of bridges (back arches), stretch out my shoulders, and that always helps."

Alison Symington, also a freshman, but over at Lo-Ellen, did not cut it quite that close. A very impressive time of 2:24.92 in the midget girls 800m race was not only enough the dethrone Leck in the grade nine division, but is also faster than both the current junior girls record (Karly Hellstrom – 2:25.89) and senior girls record (Eve Boissonneault – 2:24.93).

As for Duncan, the Confederation Chargers soon-to-be 18 year old (before the end of the week) would bump her own mark in the senior girls shot put, adding nearly a half metre in bettering the record from 10.45 metres to 10.87 metres.

Much like Wennerstrom, her own personal target was actually set higher. “I have been throwing in the elevens, so I was kind of hoping for that, but I haven't been practicing as much this year,” she confessed. With all of the hullabaloo with her final year of high-school, mixed in with plans, moving forward, that she hopes will involve a tryout with the Ontario women's tackle football squad, trying to squeeze everything in hasn't been easy.

In a discipline that is far more technical than most might imagine, the lost workouts can prove costly. “A lot of people have this misconception that throwing is all upper body strength,” said Duncan. “It's really not - it's core and legs.”

“If I'm not down far enough and not pushing up enough with my legs, whipping enough with my body, I can really tell the difference between a good throw and a bad throw.”

That kind of attention to details in the throwing events is exactly why some of the records that Duncan have set, quite recently, may be erased by Lo-Ellen junior Lauren Fearn. Also a medal winner at provincials as a grade nine attended in 2018, the talented multi-sport athlete bumped Duncan to the side in the junior girls shot put, her toss of 11.81 metres absolutely smashing the old record of 11.00 metres.

(In fairness, it should be noted that the girls shot put marks were reset just a few years ago when the weight of the put itself was lowered).

And though his performance was not record setting, Lasalle newcomer Josh McKay has thrown down the gauntlet as the man to beat in the sprints in the 2004 age bracket. The first year high school student followed up an impressive performance at the Black Flies Meet earlier this month, taking first place in the midget boys 200m in a time of 25.13 (into a strong head-wind), with his best event (100m dash) still to come.

It's just the latest in the string of track and field progression that McKay has shown over the years. “I ran for Carl Nesbitt (Elementary School) since grade three,” he explained. “I started to beat people in grade five, but when I started getting actual fast was more like grade eight.”

“Beating people is when you are still close to them, and fast is when you're a little more ahead than that.”

Confederation senior Amy Connelly is another one who might need to make that distinction. An OFSAA bronze medal winner in 2017 and current junior girls high jump record holder in the city, the grade 11 student athlete would need to wait until day two of the 2019 SDSSAA Track and Field Championships to take a crack at the senior mark of 1.55 metres, held by Helena Havlovic (Lo-Ellen - 2015).

In the meantime, Connelly, who is also targetting a potential post-secondary career in varsity volleyball once she leaves the home of the Chargers, garnered her first medal of the season, earning a gold medal in the triple jump with a leap of 9.92 metres.

"My event is high jump," suggested Connelly. "I do the other jumps just for fun. I still like them, but they're not my main focus." Still, she would have enough focus on Wednesday at the Laurentian University track to earn a six centimetre victory over Mani Cuza of Sudbury Secondary.

Following is a listing of event winners from Wednesday:

Midget Girls Division
200m dash – Jasmine Savignac (Lasalle) – 28.43
800m – Alison Symington (Lo-Ellen) – 2:24.92
3000m – Avery Sutherland (Lo-Ellen) – 11:21.67
80m hurdles – Jasmine Savignac (Lasalle) – 14.10
High Jump – Madison Soulliere (Champlain) – 1.48m
Pole Vault – Chloe Rodrigue (Notre-Dame) – 1.90m
Discus – Emma Coutu (Notre-Dame) – 22.72m

Midget Boys Division
200m dash – Josh McKay (Lasalle) – 25.13
800m – Patrick Wiss (Lo-Ellen) – 2:16.17
3000m – Ian Mackenzie (Confederation) – 10:21.94
100m hurdles – Ethan Shoup (Lo-Ellen) – 16.34
High Jump – Ryan Rubic (Lively) – 1.69m
Pole Vault – Eli Gerhardt (Lockerby) – 2.40m
Long Jump – Brady Ducharme (Lockerby) – 5.25m
Javelin – Ryan Rubic (Lively) – 31.82m

Junior Girls Division
200m dash – Naomi Palmer (Sacre Coeur) – 27.78
800m – Kalila Bachiu (Lo-Ellen) – 2:28.39
3000m – Kalila Bachiu (Lo-Ellen) – 11:42.69
80m hurdles – Isabel Maki (Lo-Ellen) – 14.15
Long Jump – Chandyn Bachiu (Lo-Ellen) – 4.57m
Shot Put – Lauren Fearn (Lo-Ellen) – 11.81m
Javelin – Lauren Fearn (Lo-Ellen) – 32.36m

Junior Boys Division
200m dash – Devon Savignac (St Charles) – 24.36
800m – Tomasso Deni (St Charles) – 2:20.71
3000m – Austin Mashinter (Lo-Ellen) – 10:18.61
100m hurdles – Bryce Desabrais (Lo-Ellen) – 16.08
Pole Vault – Will Fabbro (Lo-Ellen) – 3.03m
Long Jump – Logan Spicer (Lo-Ellen) – 6.17m
Triple Jump – Brendan Lemay (Notre-Dame) – 11.68m
Shot Put – Matthew Gordon (Champlain) – 11.65m

Senior Girls Division
200m dash – Ariane Saumure (Macdonald-Cartier) – 27.53
800m – Natalie Marks de Chabris (Lo-Ellen) – 2:35.74
3000m – Meredith Kusnierczyk (Lo-Ellen) – 11:42.57
100m hurdles – Fiona Symington (Lo-Ellen) – 17.46
Pole Vault – Hannah Nykilchyk (Lockerby) – 2.60m
Triple Jump – Amy Connelly (Confederation) – 9.92m
Shot Put – Adriana Duncan (Confederation) – 10.87m
Discus – Angelina Lam (Marymount) – 28.07m
4 X 400m relay – Lo-Ellen Park – 4:21.25

Senior Boys Division
200m dash – Zach Mainville (Notre-Dame) – 23.12
800m – Kendyn Mashinter (Lo-Ellen) – 2:04.17
3000m – Andrι Larocque (Notre-Dame) – 9:39.34
110m hurdles – Nick Burke (Lasalle) – 18.92
High Jump – Liam LaPierre (Lasalle) 1.70m
Pole Vault – Justin Watson (Notre-Dame) – 3.15m
Triple Jump – Kurtis Wennerstrom (Lo-Ellen) – 13.61m
Discus – Jacques Mathieu (Notre-Dame) – 34.70m
4 X 400m relay – Lo-Ellen Park – 3:53.34

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