When the Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association track and field championships kicked off Thursday in North Bay Dan Kennedy and Holly Maskell were out to prove that last season's success was no flash in the pan.
This time they're looking to make statements in the senior division.
After capturing individual championships as juniors last year, Maskell, from White Pines, and Kennedy, from Sir James Dunn, are on course to succeed again at a higher level.
Maskell was true to her word, capturing the shot put with a throw of 10.34 metres. St. Basil's Dana Ferguson was second in 9.23m. Maskell will compete in two other specialties today.
The throw earned her another trip to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association championships. She placed 10th last year in discus, 16th in javelin and 20th in shot put.
Kennedy gets his opportunity today. He set a city record in the discus at last week's city championships and is confident he can set a new NOSSA mark in the shot put his strongest event.
Kennedy broke the 24-year-old city record last week in the discus with a toss of 43.94 metres, eclipsing the mark set in 1980 by Pat O'Connor of St. Mary's.
Now, Kennedy is out to try and break another mark and he feels the NOSSA shot put is within range.
"I really think the shot put record is within reach," said Kennedy. "The NOSSA record is 15.97 and I've beaten that eight or nine times in practice this year which is pretty good because you don't normally max out at practice."
The shot put is one of three events Kennedy will compete in, with the others being the senior discus and the 4x100-metre relay race.
Kennedy had a pair of fifth-place OFSSA finishes last year.
Other senior boys competitors expected to challenge for the overall title at NOSSA include Alonzo Clarke from White Pines, James Campbell from SJD and Rocky Robitaille from St. Mary's.
Robitaille finished second to North Bay Chippewa's Lucas McAneney Thursday in a senior long-distance race.
In junior, J.J. Benjamin from SJD should be a threat after winning the city long jump, triple jump and javelin events. Other key junior competitors include Andrew Baziuk from St. Mary's and Nic Lang from SJD.
Baziuk won the junior long jump Thursday in 5.79 metres.
In midget, big performances are expected from Nick Peters from White Pines and Justin Bonne from SJD.
In senior girls, Tara Paluzzi, who captured the city title by winning the triple jump and the 100 and 200-metre races, should fare well, along with Maskell, Janine Olthuis from SJD and Amanda Peltsch from St. Mary's.