With more than 300 athletes on hand Saturday at Laurentian University, some from as far as Chapleau, event organizers for the District H qualifying meet of the Royal Canadian Legion Track and Field Championships were treated to a number of notable performances, all in a setting that differs, at least somewhat, to most of what the older athletes have experienced this spring.
"It's a little different atmosphere, because there's so many young children," noted Laura Graham of Lasalle Secondary, the first-place finisher in the girls 16-17 200m, 400m and triple jump. "I'm used to seeing all kids my age, people from high school."
In fact, Legion age groupings begin with boys and girls aged nine to 11, with older athletes looking to move on to both the provincial championships (in Brampton on July 11 and 12), and hopefully nationals in Langley (B.C.) from Aug. 15-17.
A basketball athlete first and foremost, Graham is more than a tad pleased with her performances in track and field this spring, given the time commitment to her top priority.
"I didn't get to train much at all because our club basketball season was longer this year," said Graham. "I just went right into cities without doing any meets that we usually do before."
Understandably, it creates a different dynamic, moving from the hardcourt to the track.
"In basketball, I expect the most out of myself, seeing as though I'm training all year for it," said Graham. "In track, I only have this short window of time to really focus on it. I think my expectations are a little bit tempered, but not that much. I still want to do the best that I can."
While many top athletes on hand fell a little short of their peak 2014 performances, the same could not be said for high jumper Noah LaPierre.
Coming off a silver-medal performance at OFSAA, the Lasalle junior turned in a personal best on Saturday, clearing the bar at 1.90 metres to take top spot in the boys 16-17 competition.
Canadian Legion champion one year ago, Joseph Maxwell of Manitoulin proved that he remains right on track in his training, almost doubling the distance of his nearest competitor with a toss of 18.96m in the shot put, also taking top spot in the discus.
Ryan Taylor (B16-17) won both the triple jump (13.38m) and long jump (6.14m) quite comfortably, with Allison Byrnes and Jaclyn Groom (G14-15) flip-flopping between first and second place in the same events for the young ladies.
Following is a complete breakdown of the local winners on Saturday:
100m - Danielle Roy – 13.08
200m - Laura Graham – 26.12
400m - Laura Graham – 1:00.35
3000m - Sarah MacLean – 11:22.20
2000m steeplechase - Sarah MacLean - 8:11.25
Triple Jump - Laura Graham – 10.38m
Javelin - Danika Falvo – 33.37m
Pole Vault - Jennifer Drane – 2.60m
100m - Skyler Savage-Perreault – 11.26
200m - Skyler Savage-Perreault – 23.52
1500m - Brendan Costello – 4:24.85
300m hurdles - Pierce Wallingford – 41.13
2000m steeplechase - Liam Passi – 6:56.07
Long Jump - Ryan Taylor – 6.14m
Triple Jump - Ryan Taylor – 13.38m
High Jump - Noah LaPierre – 1.90m
800m - Allison Caswell – 2:30.41
1200m - Sydney Tarini – 4:16.88
Long Jump - Allison Byrnes – 5.04m
Triple Jump - Jaclyn Groom – 10.43m
Shot Put - Kayleigh Gauthier – 8.78m
300m - Ethan Gladu – 40.45
100m hurdles - Gabriel Muray – 15.61
100m - McKenna Cresswell – 13.42
200m - McKenna Cresswell – 27.42
300m - Hannah Morningstar – 48.77
Triple Jump - Grace Racicot – 8.70m
100m - Connor Jermyn – 13.12
200m - Connor Jermyn – 27.27
300m - Nick Burke – 46.33
800m - Kendyn Mashinter – 2:39.16
1200m - Kendyn Mashinter – 4:15.46
Shot Put - Izzy Trudeau – 8.01m
100m - Grace Cranston – 15.37
200m - Grace Cranston – 32.88
800m - Kelsey Dunn – 2:53.79
Long Jump - Kelsey Dunn – 4.12m
Triple Jump - Kelsey Dunn – 8.49m
100m - Mitchell Martin – 15.14
200m - Mitchell Martin – 30.10
800m - Austin Mashinter – 2:49.53
1200m - Austin Mashinter – 4:27.06
Long Jump - Austin Mashinter – 3.77m
Triple Jump - Ian Mackey – 7.16m
High Jump - Mitchell Martin - 1.25m