Track and Field athletes at St. Mary's and SJD expected to do well
In just three weeks all Sault Ste. Marie secondary school track and field athletes will meet at Queen Elizabeth Field to showcase the skills, they have been preparing for the past couple of weeks, and in some cases the past few years. The Sault Track and Field Meet attracted a good crowd of cheering spectators last spring and organizers hope that success will be repeated this year.
The competition should be intense as all schools have extraordinary athletes, but expect Sir James Dunn and St. Mary's College athletes to perform especially well. They are seen as the favourite teams, placing first and second respectively last year at the NOSSA Finals in North Bay.
Mike Girard, head coach for the St. Mary's track and field team, feels that they should fare quite well at this year's city meet. "We have a 'bumper crop' this year in terms of the number of athletes who have signed up for track and field. Many of them are Grade 9 students," said Girard.
Promising prospects for the St. Mary's midget boys long distance runners are John Harvey, Pat Chisholm, Kasey Van Socy, and Aaron Mormile.
The gold medal win from Andrew Baziuk last year in the boys 100 metre run at OFSAA leads many to expect that he will produce great results in the junior division this year.
Girard believes that "this year in the junior division Baziuk will lead us on the track to the City, NOSSA, and OFSAA meets." He also went on to say that "in the long distance events, we will be led by Rocky Robitaille, in the senior boys 1500 m, 3000 m, and 2000 m steeplechase races".
Robitaille impressed many at the City Meet and NOSSA last year, and placed tenth in the OFSAA Junior boys 3000 m. Girard also believes that "Kyle Dugas, a leader on and off the track will shine in the senior boys sprints and relay races."
As for the St. Mary's girls, the Peltsch sisters are seen as contenders at the City Meet. Amanda and Heather Peltsch produce good results at NOSSA last year and according to Girard "should prove to be contenders in the hurdle events". Sarah Bullock will be in the junior girls sprint and high jump this year. She placed first at NOSSA in the girls high jump last year as a midget.
Sir James Dunn, first place overall finishers at NOSSA last year, expect their track and field team to produce similar results again this season. Notables to watch for this year in the junior division are Kristen Avery and Kristen Johnson. Avery placed fourth and Johnson placed third in the girls 400 metre dash last year. Nic Lang finished with an impressive first place finish in the boys 300 metre hurdles last year along with Lucas Walker in the 100 metre hurdles.
In the senior division expect Janine Olthius to do well in the 200 and 400 metre dash. She placed first in both of these events last year as a junior. Dan Kennedy placed first in both the boys shot put and boys discus throw last year at NOSSA as a junior.
Lorri Purnis, convener for this year's City Meet, said that this year's meet has all the standard track and field events with a few modifications. The junior boys sprint hurdles race has been reduced to 100 metres instead of 110 metres, and the height of the senior boys hurdles has been cut down to 36 inches. Another change this year is that the age groups have been modified and there will no longer be two-year midgets. In layman's terms Grade 9 is midget, Grade 10 is junior (with some Grade 11), and Grades 11 and 12 are senior.
The City Meet is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19, (May 20 if rain delay) at the Jo Foreman Track located next to the John Rhodes Community Centre.