Sault Stryders
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Gallagher jumps for joy after sixth place finish at OFSAA
Reported June 8, 2009 by Peter Ruicci for The Sault Star
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Her goal was modest, but her achievement exceeded that of every other Sault Ste. Marie athlete.

Jenna Gallagher of St. Mary's College secured the best local finish at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) track and field championships in Toronto.

The annual, three-day event concluded Saturday.

The 14-year-old, Grade 9 student finished tied for sixth in the midget girls high jump with a leap of 1.50 metres.

Her hope, entering the provincials, was to simply secure a personal best.

Gallagher finished second in the city meet by jumping 1.40 metres. She was also second at the Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (NOSSA) meet by leaping 1.46 metres.

In both meets, Gallagher was topped by Sir James Dunn's Madison Mascardelli, who also recorded a 1.50 at OFSAA, finishing tied for eighth overall.

"I was really excited and proud of myself," said Gallagher, who also secured an 18th-place finish in the long jump. "I surprised myself. My goal was a personal best, so I would have been happy even if I hadn't finished sixth."

Saying she loves track and field, Gallagher's been training for the last two months.

She enjoys competition -- especially in her specialty, the high jump.

"My goal next year is just to keep improving and topping my personal best," Gallagher said.

Several other midget-aged, local athletes also secured top-20 finishes.

The Knights Anna-Lee Policicchio was ninth in discus and 15th in shot put, while Korah's Rachel Ivey was ninth throwing the shot.

St. Basil's Annie Reader placed 18th in the Open Division 1,500m steeplechase and 19th in the midget, 3,000m run.

Rachel MacLennan of St. Mary's finished 20th in the long jump.

In midget boys competition, Korah's Corey Conforzi was ninth in 200m preliminaries and 11th in the prelims for the 100m event.

St. Basil's Marc Rouleau was 11th in the discus while Adam Devon of St. Mary's tied for 11th in high jump.

The Knights Tim Berkenbosch placed 17th in the 300m hurdles and 20th in prelims for the 100m hurdles.

Robert Gioventu of SJD (shot put), Dylan Hebert of St. Mary's (long jump) and Bawating's Barak Bordin (100m hurdles prelims) all secured 19th-place finishes.

In junior girls competition, Lynnea Lobert of the Dunn was 10th in the 3,000m and 15th in the 1,500m preliminaries. Liza Ritchie of White Pines battled to an 11th-place finish in shot put and a 14th in discus while Tianna Deluzio of St. Basil placed 12th in javelin and 20th in discus. Bawating's Samantha Mortimore finished 15th in shot put.

St. Basil's Jullien Flynn finished 18th in the 3,000m while Rachel Brain of White Pines was 20th in the prelims for both the 400m and 800m.

The Saints Kristine Dovigi tied for 20th in the high jump while SJD's Rachel Eddy (200m prelims), her teammate Riley Jo Linklater (javelin) and Kayleigh Rathwell of White Pines (triple jump) all grabbed 20th-place finishes.

Alex Morrison of St. Mary's topped the junior boys locally with an 11th in the 100m prelims and a 16th in the 200m prelims.

Ben Katajamaki of White Pines was 12th in the long jump, while Kurt Barbarie of Central Algoma Secondary School (CASS) wound up 14th. SJD's Justin Cooke finished 14th in the 300m hurdles prelims while Ben Muncaster of White Pines wound up 18th.

The Dunn's Bradley Walsh grabbed a 17th in high jump, the Knights Patrick Turcotte placed 19th in shot put and Korah's Jack Carlyle was 20th in the 3,000m.

In senior girls, Tessa Kasch of St. Mary's wound up 19th in the 3,000m while teammate Kaitlin Morin finished 20th in the 400m prelims.

The top senior boys competitor locally was Richard MacLennan of St. Mary's, who finished 16th in the 400m preliminaries. The SJD 4-by-100m relay team of Eric Bogensberger, Gabe Hunt, Jordan Vernelli and Matthew Auger placed 18th.