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Relay meet signals the start of high-school track season

While the school most expected to make some noise at the 2022 SDSSAA Track & Field Championships showed very, very well at the warm-up event that is the SDSSAA Track Relay Championships, a relative newcomer to the party also served notice that they would have a voice.

Yes, as expected, the Lo-Ellen Park Knights dominated the season opening meet held at the Laurentian University Track on Wednesday, picking up gold in 13 of the 16 races that were contested.

But next in line, albeit with just two first place finishes, were the Bishop Carter Gators, claiming both the 4 X 100m senior girls race as well as the junior boys relay at those same distances.

Just a freshman at the venue located in Hanmer, Kynlee Cresswell suggested that this is just the latest statement from the land of the Gators when it comes to SDSSAA Athletics.

"This season, for every sport at Bishop, it seems that we're the underdogs," said Cresswell, who teamed up with Sierra Boyuk, Makayla Bertrand and Aimie Remillard to clock a time more than a second ahead of the Lockerby Vikings (53.53 vs 54.72).

"It's such a small school. We came out thinking that we're all fast so we're just going to have fun today - but once we got on the track, we thought: we've got this."

Despite being together for just one practice before race day, Cresswell and her relay mates could at least count on some prior experience in handling the baton, with the youngster of the crew more than happy with her placement on the track.

"I ran the third leg in grade seven, I believe," said Cresswell. "I'm pretty comfortable with it. I like the turn, where most people don't. I just feel like I'm getting so much more speed on the turn."

Patrick Wiss has no interest at all in the sprints, though it seems that all distance is relative, certainly in the eyes, of the 18 year-old grade 12 senior who is also an accomplished nordic skier.

"A lot of the skiers are better at longer distances but personally, I'm more of an 800m guy," said the well-spoken multi-sport athlete who helped set the tone for the day, working in tandem with Kaeden Ward, Liam Lacroix and Nicho Labrecque to take top spot in the 4 X 800m relay, giving the Lo-Ellen Park Knights two victories in as many races to start the day.

"Just the way my fitness is, that shorter distance where you push hard for two'ish minutes, two and a half minutes, that's really my specialty, which really carries well over to the 800m."

Still, for all the success he has enjoyed in track and cross-country as a Knight, his heart is firmly set in the middle of winter. "Most of my training is focused on skiing; that's mostly because there's better carryover from skiing fitness to running than running to skiing - and skiing is also what I am better at," said Wiss.

Even in terms of his pre-race build up, there are some notable differences. "In running, there's a lot of focus on your times, but in skiing, we are more focused on our placement in races and how you do against your competition."

By either standard, the Knights did well.

Following is a listing of all race winners (based on results as they were published):

Girls Open 4 X 800m
Lo-Ellen (Sophia Oommen, Syla Swords, Maijia Nener, Gracie Dale) - 10:34.77

Boys Open 4 X 800m
Lo-Ellen (Kaeden Ward, Liam Lacroix, Patrick Wiss, Nicho Labrecque) - 8:57.67

Girls - 4 X 100m - Novice
Lockerby (Lea Lemieux, Sarah McKechnie, Alyna Oke, Evelyn Holloway) - 56.17

Boys - 4 X 100m - Novice
Lo-Ellen (Max Arnold, Corey Lacroix, Owen Ietswaard, Ethan Oliver) - 49.86

Girls - 4 X 100m - Junior
Lo-Ellen (Emma Chateauvert, Finlay Cuza, Clair Schmidt, Maija Potvin) - 53.45

Boys - 4 X 100m - Junior
Bishop Carter (Gavin Potvin, Anthony Bertrand, Nathan Cormier, Jacob Carosi) - 50.88

Girls - 4 X 100m - Senior
Bishop Carter (Sierra Boyuk, Mikayla Bertrand, Kynlee Cresswell, Aimie Remillard) - 53.53

Boys - 4 X 100m - Senior
Lo-Ellen (Dominic Morris, Josh Kim, Liam Conlin, Caden Fabbro) - 47.37

Girls - 4 X 200m - Open
Lo-Ellen (Carling Kuhlberg, Mikel Dreger, Mikayla Fabbro, Milena Kulik) - 1:53.71

Boys - 4 X 200m - Open
Lo-Ellen (Josh Kim, Max Arnold, Carson Huzij, Ethan Oliver) - 1:40.45

Girls - 4 X 400m - Novice
Lo-Ellen (Gracie Dale, Maija Nener, Audry Kawa, Olivia Ball) - 4:25.41

Boys - 4 X 400m - Novice
Lo-Ellen (Nicho Labrecque, Brayden Legendre, Corey Lacroix, Austin Conroy) - 4:16.33

Girls - 4 X 400m - Junior
Lo-Ellen (Bree Bourget, Finlay Cuza, Grace Thomas, Syla Swords) - 4:33.71

Boys - 4 X 400m - Junior
Lo-Ellen (Jacob Barney, Sam Rice, Kevin Kelly, Russel Joiner) - 3:59.68

Girls - 4 X 400m - Senior
Lo-Ellen (Jill Kusnierczyk, Sophia Oommen, Mikel Dreger, Alexei Dokis-Dupuis) - 4:42.82

Boys - 4 X 400m - Senior
Lo-Ellen (Kaeden Ward, Patrick Wiss, Liam Lacroix, Liam Conlin) - 3:47.74

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