Sault Stryders
Running Club

Mission accomplished!
Sir James Dunn's Jordan Vernelli inches past arch-rival
Joey Plastino to win senior 100 metres

Reported May 22, 2009 by Peter Ruicci for The Sault Star
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

"Finally."

That was the first word to make it out of Jordan Vernelli's mouth Thursday, moments after winning the senior boys, 100-metre race at the City High School Track and Field Meet.

Having finished second to Joey Plastino in both last year's junior final and the 2007 midget 100m, Vernelli outdistanced the St. Basil sprinter on the second day of the two-day event at Jo Forman Track.

"I've never wanted anything so badly," said Vernelli, who finished in 11.35 seconds.

Plastino's time was :11.45, while the Dunn's Matthew Auger (:11.55), Jordan Pavoni of St. Mary's (:11.62) and Sean Plumley of White Pines (:11.72) rounded out a very tight, top five.

"Losing that race in Grade 9 has run through my head every day," Vernelli said. "I was determined. This was the best race I've ever run."

The start, said Vernelli, a 16- year-old, Grade 11 student at SJD, was key.

"I timed the gun perfectly," he said. "It was the best start I've ever had."

Plastino said he ran his best and wasn't really disappointed by his second-place finish.

He called it a good race, one that could have been won by a number of sprinters.

"Everybody got good starts. I gave it my all, but that's the way the cookie crumbles," said Plastino, 17, who's also in Grade 11. "Jordan and I have always been competitive and I congratulate him for a good race. We'll see each other again at NOSSA."

The Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (NOSSA) championships are slated for next Thursday and Friday in North Bay.

Plastino rebounded later Thursday, winning the 200m.

The division's top individual was Richard MacLennan of St. Mary's, who won both the 400m and 800m and finished second in the 200m -- good for 28 points.

Ten points are awarded for first place, eight for second, six for third, etc.

Teammate Devon Cavanagh, who grabbed the 1,500m and 3,000m and placed third in the 800m, and St. Basil's Riley Lytwynec, who won the 400m hurdles and the triple jump and wound up third in the 400m, accumulated 26 points each.

SJD's Robert Ramsay (shot put, javelin) was also a double winner while teammates Michael Campbell (110m hurdles), Jesse Wetzl (steeplechase), Matthew Auger (long jump) and Andrew Marshall (high jump) gained first-place finishes.

Stephane Gagne of St. Mary's won the discus while the Knights grabbed the 4x400-metre relay and the Eagles secured first place in the 4x100-metre relay.

In junior, Alex Morrison of St. Mary's won the individual points title, securing 30 points on three first-place finishes. Morrison won the 100m, 200m and 400m races.

Korah's Jack Carlyle was also a standout, winning both the 1,500m and 3,000m while finishing second behind SJD's Phil Graf in the 800m.

The Dunn's Bradley Walsh (triple jump, high jump) and Patrick Turcotte of St. Mary's (shot put, discus) were double gold-medal winners. The Eagles Colin Booth won the 100m hurdles, while teammate Justin Cooke placed first in the 300m hurdles. Ben Katajamaki of White Pines grabbed top spot in the long jump, Mario Bruni of St. Basil was first in the javelin and the Wolverines 4x100-metre relay team secured a first-place finish.

In midget, Bawating's Barak Bordin was the top individual performer. His 26 points were the result of first-place finishes in the javelin and 100m hurdles, and a third-place showing in the long jump.

Carlo Carchidi of St. Basil (second place in the 100m, 200m and long jump) and Tim Berkenbosch of St. Mary's (second place in the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles and triple jump) accumulated 24 points each.

Korah's Corey Conforzi was a double-winner, grabbing first place in both the 100m and 200m, while SJD's Dylan Hebert took the long jump and triple jump and Marc Rouleau of St. Basil won the discus and shot put.

Riley Bradford of St. Basil captured the 300m hurdles while teammate Jon Krotkiewicz was first in the 800m. Adam Devon of St. Mary's won the high jump while teammate Daniel Turco topped the field in the 3,000m.

Two SJD runners, Patrick Heeps (400m) and Stephen DiPietro (1,500m), also finished first while SJD grabbed top spot in the 4x100-metre relay.