The signs of spring and summer might only be out in glimpses these days, but that didn't stop several local high school track and field athletes from showcasing mid-season form as the 2014 Laurentian Black Flies Track and Field Meet took place Saturday in Sudbury.
A number of SDSSAA students served notice they will be names to watch, winning multiple events, including Marymount Academy freshman Allison Byrnes. The 15-year-old captured both the midget girls long jump (4.78m) and triple jump (9.97m), making the transition to the pits after focusing primarily on sprint events in her elementary days.
"I've really just started jumping," Byrnes explained, noting that she hooked up with Track North Athletic Club in earnest back in December. "I wasn't really too familiar with each phase of the triple jump.
"I had to learn how to do my technique properly. Even in running, my technique was really bad."
Also an accomplished soccer player, Byrnes is excited about the opportunity to work hand in hand with jumping coach Jim Taylor, a man who has helped produced some of Sudbury's finest track and field athletes over the past decade or so.
"He always has something really good to say about what you're doing," said Byrnes. "He never focuses on the negative, it's always about the positive. And he always tells you about what you can improve on after every jump."
With her sights set on a berth in OFSAA, Byrnes is sure to continue to heed his advice. Joining the Marymount rookie in making a splash was New Liskeard native Kristen Siermachesky from Timiskaming, finishing first in both the midget girls 400m (1:01.13) and 800m (2:23.00), while placing second to Byrnes in the triple jump.
A talented multisport athlete, Siermachesky was a member of the North Bay Midget AA Ice Boltz last year, but has signed on with the Stoney Creek Midget AA Sabres for 2014-2015.
Closer to home, Brooke Kennedy (St. Charles) swept both the junior girls 100m (13.58) and 200m dash (29.41), with Natasha Mayer (CND) doing the same in the senior ranks (13.04 and 26.95).
Nicole Conlin of Lo-Ellen displayed her versatility, garnering gold in both the junior girls 80m hurdles (13.86) as well as the triple jump (10.05m). On the boys side of the draw, Blake Bottrell matched Byrnes leap for leap, picking up a pair of victories in the midget boys long jump (5.21m) and triple jump (11.11m), while Horizon speedster Skyler Perreault-Savage showed no signs of slowing down.
The talented sprinter ran away from the field in both the 100m (11.55) and 200m (24.17) races, while South African transfer student Reinhardt Gobler (Lo-Ellen) posted an OFSAA calibre time in the senior boys 110m hurdles, crossing the line in 15.87 seconds.
Many of these same athletes will be back in action this coming weekend, heading to North Bay for the Nipissing Invitational. Next on the calendar locally comes the SDSSAA relay meet, slated for May 14 at 3 p.m. at the Laurentian University track.
Following is a complete list of the remaining local winners:
100m dash - Kayla Folz (St Charles) – 13.34
high jump - Scarlett Noel (Manitoulin) – 1.33m
high jump - Helena Mae (Lo-Ellen) – 1.54m
400m - Teagan Moxam (Lockerby) – 1:07.16
800m - Katie Wiwchar (Lo-Ellen) – 2:33.34
1500m - Sarah MacLean (Lockerby) – 5:20.31
100m hurdles - Hailey Wasilyw (Lo-Ellen) – 16.92
long jump - Kennedy Lanktree (Manitoulin) – 4.92m
triple jump - Renée Auger (St Charles) – 9.30m
100m hurdles - Oliver Ecclestone (Lockerby) – 16.93
200m - William Scott (Manitoulin) – 24.94
1500m - Brandon Costello (Lo-Ellen) – 4:46.59
100m hurdles - Kari Sakki (Lo-Ellen) – 16.54
high jump - Casey Crowe (Lo-Ellen) – 1.35m
800m - Colton Lafrance (Espanola) – 2:04.18
1500m - Liam Passi (Lasalle) - 4:29.92