If it wasn't readily apparent following last week's city meet, it certainly is now. Sault Ste. Marie's Andrew Baziuk is a rising track star.
In his first appearance in the Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association Track and Field Championships, the Grade 9 St. Mary's College student won the Midget Boys' individual points title Friday at Jo Forman Track.
Not only that, the 15-year-old Baziuk set a new NOSSA record in the 100 metres, and was the only athlete to secure three firsts.
"It's incredible," said Baziuk, who ran his 100m heat in :11.3, breaking the old mark by one-tenth of a second. "Coming into this, I expected to do well, but not this well."
Baziuk, who won the 100m final in :11.8, also won golds in the 200m and long jump.
Meantime, Hannibal Cull of Sir James Dunn won the Senior Boys individual points title while teammate Dan Kennedy tied for individual honours in the Junior Boys Division. Korah's Clyde Bridge joined both as a double gold-medalist in boys' competition.
Baziuk, who also won the midget 100m, 200m and long jump in the city meet, called it "an honour" to own the 100m record.
"I was shooting for it. It's just been an incredible experience. I can't wait for OFSAA."
Top NOSSA competitors are off to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations Championships, June 5-7 in St. Catharines.
Cull, who won the 3,000m Thursday, added a steeplechase gold medal and a third-place showing in the 800m Friday.
Kennedy, who struck gold in the discus Thursday, added his second gold medal in Friday's shot put competition. Bridge secured firsts in the 100m and 200m races Friday.
"Conditions weren't that great, but I felt pretty good," said Bridge, who established a new 100m record of :11.0 in last weeks' city meet. "It was raining while I was running, but you have to deal with it."
Bridge was also happy that Korah's 4-by-100m relay team won NOSSA and qualified for OFSSA. The team of Bridge, Jairus Quesnele, Steve Tarchuk and Matt Parker ran :44.8, equalling the existing city record.
Bawating's Evan Timusk, with two seconds and one fourth, tied Bridge for second behind Cull in the senior points' standings.
Rocky Robitaille of St. Mary's, with a first in the 1,500m, was third in the junior points race. James Campbell won the 1,500m and finished second in another to place third among midgets.
In senior, Matt Chaimbrone (St. Mary's, 400m), Andrew Ross (St. Mary's, 110m hurdles), Brent Gerhart (SJD, 1,500m) and Ben Warnock (SJD, long jump) won golds Friday.
In junior, additional Friday golds were secured by Tyson Vanderloo (Korah, 100m hurdles), Kyle Gauthier (Bawating, triple jump), Kelsey Wilson (St. Mary's, javelin) and the SMC 4-by-100m relay team of Rick Mills, Matt Chlebus, Chris Lebel and Phil Ruicci.
In midget, Nic Lang (SJD, 300m hurdles), Jonathon Mullin (St. Mary's, javelin), Lucas Walker (SJD, 100m hurdles), and St. Basil's 4-by-100m relay team of Matt Dias, Jeff Coccimiglio, Graham Imre and Luke Ruicci won golds.
The St. Mary's relay team of Chaimbrone, Ross, Todd Matejka and Kayvon Fatemizadeh won the 4-by-400m Open Division relay.