They didn't quite squeeze in 100 per cent of the schedule at Day 2 of the 2017 SDSSAA Track & Field Championships, but the events that were completed were pretty darn good.
Several youngsters distinguished themselves with NOSSA championships only a week away, including midget jumper Kurtis Wennerstrom of Lo-Ellen. A day after taking the long jump with relative ease, Wennerstrom obliterated the triple jump record of 11.85 metres, held by now OFSAA medal winner Ryan Taylor.
Wennerstrom covered a distance of 12.37 metres, well beyond his own PB of 11.86 metres established when he broke the Rainbow Elementary record one year ago.
"I jumped way further than I thought I could," he said. "When I jumped, I knew that I was way over my personal best and the record."
After succeeding based largely on raw talent in primary school, Wennerstrom enlisted the help of coach Tom Black, a one-time jumper with the Scottish national team. The change in mechanics has been noticeable.
Teammate Lucas Mrozewski did one better than Wennerstrom, setting two new records on the day. The 400m finalist last year at OFSAA lowered the mark held by Kyle Beaudry of Champlain (42.55) in the 300m hurdles, crossing the line in 42.47, and later dropped the standard in the 400m (Andre Pelland - ESMC - 2005 - 53.54), taking gold in the final in 53.15.
"My times weren't where I wanted to be," acknowledged Mrozewski, who ran 52.86 in Windsor last June to qualify for the OFSAA final eight. "In the morning, I wasn't great over the hurdles, or at least not as good as I wanted to be. In the 400m, it was a little windy. I was hoping to go faster, but overall, I'm pretty happy with how things went."
A fourth record would fall on Day 2, as Angelina Lam of Marymount knocked Champlain product and former Laurentian Voyageurs women's hockey captain Julie Hebert from the record books. Lam would sail the discus 29.23 metres, almost two full metres further than the previous mark of 27.28 that has stood since 2007.
Lo-Ellen junior sprinter Christina Robert has served notice that she will take a shot at the NOSSA mark in the 100m dash next week, posting a heat time of 12.80 today before cruising to victory in the final, into a strong head wind, with a time of 13.18 seconds.
Though Robert bettered the existing NOSSA mark of 12.88 (Olivia Orazietti), the phenom that is Rebecca Johnston became apparent once again, as her SDSSAA record of 12.43 seconds was never really at risk.
Still, coming off battling mononucleosis this winter, Robert is pleased with the way things are gradually all starting to come together.
"Last year, my (starting) blocks were insane," she said. "But when I got mono, my gaining speed was great, but my blocks were a little bit off.
Midget girls multi-sport competitor Dylann Mazzuchin was one of five athletes to finish with a perfect meet, winning all three events in which she competed (Mrozewski, Shawn Bélanger, Nick Burke and Jacklyn Groom were the others).
“I'm really starting to like the competition. I like the mental part, pushing myself and trying to get a personal best. I think I'm really a mid-distance girl, so the 1500m and 800m," she added. "I'm really liking the 800m right now. It's really challenging, but it fits me well. It's pretty much a really, really long sprint."
While the above-noted Lo-Ellen quartet had staked their claim to legitimate contender well before this meet, the competition did produce some pleasant surprises.
Sixteen-year-old Josiah Oommen of Lockerby just barely out-leaned teammate Erik Michaud at the wire of the senior boys 100m race, demonstrating a solid base on which to build, while still relatively new to the local sprint scene.
Winning in a time of 11.86 seconds, Oommen knew there would be little to choose with Michaud (11.91) right at his side.
"The last 20 metres of that race, I could see [Michaud] right beside me. I just pushed it. "It's just driving, there's nothing else really better than just trying as hard as you can."
Much like Oommen, St Benedict senior Dawson Nootchtai has no illusions of OFSAA glory, though his competitiveness at the city level is impressive when one factors in the balancing act that he performs with hockey, football, kayak and many other endeavours, most of which he excels at.
After picking up silver in the 200m dash on Wednesday, Nootchtai came back to take first place in the 400m race late Thursday, finishing more than a second ahead of school-mate Conrad Naponse (54.22 vs 55.23).
"It's tough. You have to have good cardio at the end, but you have to be quick enough to stay in the race. You really have no rhythm, you have to run full tilt in the 400m, beginning to end."
Championship officials were not quite able to meet that goal, as a steady barrage of lightning strikes right around 3:30 p.m. forced organizers to cancel the final few events for the day. On the track, only the senior boys and girls 4 X 100m remained, with a decision made to use the results from last week's City Relay Meet to determine 2017 placings.
In the three field events, with competitors having already reached three jumps or throws, placings will be slotted based on results prior to the rain and lightning. Given a relatively small number of athletes involved in the few events that were effected, it looks like all those who wish to move on to NOSSA would be able to anyways, by virtue of Sudbury hosting next week, and having access to either five or six slots across the board.
In the team aggregate championship, Lo-Ellen would run away from the field, once again, finishing with 1001 points, with Notre-Dame (490) and Lockerby (456) in the next two slots.
Following is a complete list of day two winners:
100m - Joelle Gagnon (CND) - 13.81
400m - Madisyn Papineau (CND) - 1:02.75
1500m - Dylann Mazzuchin (LOE) - 5:23.06
300m hurdles - Erika Brown (LOE) - 49.85
Long Jump - Amy Connelly (CFD) - 4.24m
Triple Jump - Dylann Mazzuchin (LOE) - 9.89m
Shot Put - Kaylie Bellefeuille (CND) - 9.02m
4 X 100m Relay - Collège Notre-Dame - 54.04
100m - Max Villano (STB) - 12.31
400m - Nick Burke (LAS) - 56.43
1500m - Kendyn Mashinter (LOE) - 4:35.77
300m hurdles - Nick Burke (LAS) - 44.90
Triple Jump - Kurtis Wennerstrom (LOE) - 12.37m
Shot Put - Tyson McFadden (LOE) - 11.38m
Discus - Denver Morin (CFD) - 35.87m
4 X 100m Relay - Lo-Ellen Park - 51.24
100m - Christina Robert (LOE) - 13.18
400m - Ariane Saumure (ESMC) - 1:05.36
1500m - Jayde Hurley (LOE) - 5:28.86
300m hurdles - Jayme Anderson (LOE) - 52.10
High Jump - Kat Tasch (LOE) - 1.42m
Triple Jump - Abby Patterson (LAS) - 10.12m
Discus - Angelina Lam (MMT) - 29.23m
4 X 100m Relay - Lo-Ellen Park - 53.25
100m - Zach Mainville (CND) - 11.53
400m - Lucas Mrozewski (LOE) - 53.15
1500m - Auggy Marks de Chabris (LOE) - 4:28.81
300m hurdles - Lucas Mrozewski (LOE) - 42.47
High Jump - Ethan Hall (LOE) - 1.66m
Triple Jump - Callum Bruser (LOE) - 12.58m
Discus - Ethan Bronicheski (LOE) - 36.19
Javelin - Jacob Ferris (ESMC) - 42.23m
4 X 100m Relay - Lo-Ellen Park - 46.91
100m - Harmony Martel (LCS) - 13.37
400m - Karly Hellstrom (LAS) - 1:01.43
1500m - Sydney Tarini (LOE) - 5:14.43
400m hurdles - Sarah Maki (LCS) - 1:13.55
High Jump - Kennedy Sikora (LCS) - 1.33m
Long Jump - Jaclyn Groom (LCS) - 4.76m
Javelin - Jaclyn Groom (LCS) - 26.92m
4 X 100m Relay - Marymount - 53.33
1500m steeplechase - Nina Kucheran (CND) - 5:46.09
100m - Josiah Oommen (LCS) - 11.86
400m - Dawson Nootchtai (STB) - 54.22
1500m - Shawn Bélanger (CND) - 4:39.72
400m hurdles - Mathieu Dokies-Dupuis (ESMC) - 1:08.85
Long Jump - Nick Rideout (LIV) - 5.93m
Shot Put - Alex Paquette (CND) - 12.89m
Javelin - Alex Loranger (CND) - 50.06m
4 X 100m Relay - St Charles - 46.37
2000m steeplechase - Shawn Bélanger (CND) - 7:05.35
Individual Aggregate Champions
Midget Girls - Dylann Mazzuchin (LOE) - 30 points
Midget Boys - Nick Burke (Lasalle) - 30 points
Junior Girls - Ariane Saumure (ESMC) - 28 points
Junior Boys - Lucas Mrozewski (LOE) - 30 points
Senior Girls - Jaclyn Groom (LCS) - 30 points
Senior Boys - Shawn Bélanger (CND) - 30 points