Scheduled almost directly on the heels of the OFSAA Championships, the Legion District H Track and Field Meet allows many of the top athletes in the area to continue to build on the momentum they established in high-school, leading right up and through the provincial showdown.
For Alison Symington, however, the event that was staged this past Saturday at the Laurentian University track constituted a chance at redemption.
A highly touted Grade 9 athlete at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, Symington qualified comfortably for the final of the midget girls 1500m race in Guelph two weeks ago, with her best event (800m) still a couple of days away. Disaster would strike in the 1500m final.
"I tried to pass someone, but then tripped over the (inside) rail, so it was my fault," said Symington.
The end result was a sprained ankle, one which would force her to re-focus her high school goals towards 2020.
Considering the OFSAA finalists (800m) qualified in times ranging from 2:20 to 2:24 or so, and that Symington had clipped through at that pace at NOSSA, without being pushed, taking a seat on the sidelines was hardly an ideal introduction to the huge setting that is the annual high-school track and field championships.
"I was really down, but then my mom convinced me to go to the athletic banquet," said Symington. "I won the track award, which kind of inspired me to keep going."
At Legions, she would establish two new meet records, taking first place in both the 800m (2:24.68) and the 1200m (4:01.44), with plenty more in the tank.
"I haven't done a lot of training, lately, so I was pretty tired in the first hundred metres," she said, shortly after the 800m was completed. "I guess I kind of pushed through. It's not a PB — I consistently ran that time all year, so I was happy that I wasn't too slow."
While the District team has not yet been finalized, one would expect that Symington will garner serious consideration, which matches up well with her thoughts for the next four to six weeks.
"I'm really hoping to have the month to get ready for provincial Legions," she said. "I find that running is fine, it's more the lateral movements on my ankle that are a problem. I should be OK to train three times a week - I really need it."
Symington was not the only one setting new records on Saturday.
Lo-Ellen teammate Kurtis Wennerstrom, fresh off returning from a gruelling outdoor education camping trip, summoned enough energy to rewrite the standard for both the boys 17 & under long jump (6.43m), as well as the triple jump (13.95m), the latter establishing a new personal best with a leap that ranks among the elite in the country, in his age class this year.
After having set a new mark in the high-jump at the city championships, Logan Spicer electrified the sprint crowd, clocking in at 11.05 seconds in the 100m dash in the boys 17 & under division, a time that would erase the high-school best of 11.07 seconds (Eric Roque - 2008) should Spicer be able to duplicate it next May.
Now under the guidance of Olympic hero Robert Esmie, Lasalle Secondary freshman Josh McKay, running with Air Blastoff, pencilled himself in as the new standard bearer in the boys 15 & under 200m dash (23.87 seconds) and 300m (39.85), also taking first in the 100m distance (11.56).
Remaining local winners included:
Boys 17 and Under Division
Javelin - Bradley Bertrand - Sacré Coeur - 42.52m
Pole Vault - Dulain Abeyratne - Lockerby - 2.30m
High Jump - Logan Spicer - Track North - 1.93m
3000m - Kendyn Mashinter - Lo-Ellen Park - 9:46.30
1500m - Kendyn Mashinter - Lo-Ellen Park - 4:35.81
400m - Aidan Lowe - Lasalle - 53.46
Girls 17 and Under Division
Javelin - Samantha Norwood - Marymount - 18.38m
Discus - Samantha Norwood - Marymount - 17.30m
Shot Put - Samantha Norwood - Marymount - 7.00m
Triple Jump - Chandyn Bachiu - Lo-Ellen - 10.01m
Long Jump - Chandyn Bachiu - Lo-Ellen - 4.85m
Pole Vault - Hannah Nykilchyk - Lockerby - 2.65m
2000m steeplechase - Meredith Kusnierczyk - Lo-Ellen - 8:18.80
100m hurdles - Fiona Symington - Lo-Ellen - 16.43
3000m - Avery Sutherland - Deerlegs Run - 11:22.40
1500m - Avery Sutherland - Deerlegs Run - 5:15.85
Boys 15 and Under Division
Discus - Ryan Lawson - Lasalle - 24.92m
Triple Jump - Kieran Fitzgerald - Lo-Ellen - 11.11m
Long Jump - Ethan Shoup - Lo-Ellen - 5.17m
Pole Vault - Eli Gerhardt - Lockerby - 2.20m
100m hurdles - Kieran Fitzgerald - Lo-Ellen - 15.46
Girls 15 and Under Division
Triple Jump - Charlotte Eberlein - Lasalle - 9.67m
1500m steeplechase - Jill Kusnierczyk - Lo-Ellen - 6:32.67
200m hurdles - Amanda Symington - Lo-Ellen - 32.95
Randy Pascal is the founder of SudburySports.com and a contributing sports writer for Sudbury.com.