Sault Ontario High School Girls City Track & Field Championships
By BILL MONTAGUE, The Sault Star, March 16, 2001

Shannon Penfold didn't need any assistance getting across the finish line Wednesday but she had a lot of help in the stands. The 15-year-old from Korah collegiate turned in a brilliant performance at the City High School track and field championships, breaking the record in the midget girls 300-metre hurdles, much to the delight of her brother Ryan and her parents, Jim and Kathy.

``This meant a lot to me because my brother was here watching and I wanted to do well for him,'' said Penfold, who also finished second in the 400-metre event.

``He's one of the reasons I'm in sports and my parents were here too.''

The top finishers in each event qualify for the Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association championships in Sudbury next Thursday and Friday.

Coming into the 300 hurdles, Penfold thought she had a chance at breaking the record because she posted good times during her training runs. But cooler than normal weather conditions coupled with a slight wind and the occasional drizzle, made for some interesting racing.

``I knew I was close because they (coaches) told me during practices I was just a few seconds off,'' said Penfold, a Grade 9 student.

``This is really exciting and fun because I didn't think I could make it this far.''

While Penfold did her damage in the hurdles, Lauren Podolski was unstoppable in the midget girls middle-distance events.

Podolski, from Korah collegiate, won the 200, 400 and 800-metre races and was crowned the midget girls individual champion.

She ran the 200 metres in 27.70 seconds, the 400 in 1:02.50 seconds and the 800 metres in 2:32.80 seconds.

She was one of only two female competitors to win three individual events. The other triple winner was Emily Hayman from White Pines collegiate.

Hayman, a talented distance runner, captured the 800, 1,500 and 3,000-metre events en route to winning the individual title in the senior division.

In the 800 metres, Hayman finished in 2:43.80 and posted times of 5:32.20 seconds and 12:38.30 seconds in the 1,500 and 3,000-metre races, respectively.

In team results, Sir James Dunn captured the women's division with 349 points followed by Korah (213) and St. Mary's and St. Basil, who tied for third with 206 points apiece.

SJD also won the aggregate title with 860 points followed by St. Mary's (508) and St. Basil (397).

Double winners in the girls division included Penfold (400 and 100 metres), Katie Elliott from SJD (junior girls 200 and 400), Korah's Alecia Murtonen (junior girls 800 and 1,500), White Pines' Viktoria Koskenoja (midget girls 1,500 and 3,000-metre races), SJD's Erin Nisbett (senior girls 200 and long jump) and White Pines' Amanda Evans (junior girls 80-metre hurdles and discus throw).