Red Hawks swoop in to capture Kawartha track and field titles
By Karen Gervais
Special to the Minden Times
The Red Hawks track and field team turned in many strong performances Thursday at the Kawartha Track and Field Championships held at Thomas A. Stewart Secondary in Peterborough. The Hawks captured five individual golds as well as winning the open boys’ 4 x 400 metre relay.
First year senior Isaac Little led the charge in the 2,000 metre steeplechase – the first event of the morning. Little won the race, shaving another seven seconds off his time to improve the school record he set last year to 6:51.45. Grade 10 runner Logan Heaven, also competing in this open boys’ event for the first time, improved his time by 19 seconds from the week before. Heaven finished fifth overall.
Little continued his success placing second in the senior boys’ 3,000 metre, running a new personal best of 9:37. Little is gunning this year for the senior boys’ 3,000 metre school record of 9:32, set by Sean Keaney in 2005.
Midget boy Nick Phippen looked to repeat Little’s success in distance running, placing sixth in the 1,500 metre with a new personal best of 5:01 and running a strong 3,000 metre race with a time of 10:47 to place third in this event. This was Phippen’s first time running this distance competitively.
Midget boy teammate Corin Gervais showed his depth as an athlete, qualifying for COSSA in three events – the 400 metre, 800 metre and 300 metre hurdles, with a second place finish in this last event. Gervais will drop the 400 metre at COSSA next week to give him a competitive edge in his other two events.
An outstanding team of junior boys’ athletes proved they were a force to be reckoned with on the track, as three of them qualified for the final in the 100 metre. Ryerson Chamney, Desi Davies and Brian Kim finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively in this fast final. This is Chamney’s first year running track since Grade 5, and his coaches continue to be impressed with his speed and work ethic. Chamney would later go on to finish fifth in the 400 metre and sixth in the 200 metre to round out his day, while Desi Davies would go to win the junior boys' discus title with a new personal best of 36.26 metres. Davies was also fourth in the shot put, and teammate Jacob Dobson second in this event.
Junior boy Alex Little captured the 300 metre hurdle title, a new event this year for Little. He will face some stiff competition at COSSA next week with three runners breaking the Bay of Quinte 300 metre hurdle record in Belleville that same day. Little also placed second in the 800 metre as well as anchored the Kawartha champion 4 x 400 metre relay.
Senior boy Shawn Walker also ran a new personal best of 54.24 seconds in the 400 metre to launch him into second place and then go on to run a quick 200 metre to also place second here. Walker hasn’t competed in this event before but attempted it this year upon his coaches’ recommendation.
Senior teammate Codie Wilkinson ran fifth in the same 200 metre final after placing third in the 100 metre earlier in the day. Wilkinson’s times continue to drop this year due to training commitment and race experience as a third-year track athlete.
Midget girl Molly Devolin competing for the first time in high school track also ran her way into the 100 metre final finishing eighth overall. Devolin ran a quick 200 metre later in the day to finish third in the final. Devolin is attempting the discus as well and continues to grow her skill in this event. She finished sixth overall and will move on to COSSA in all events next week.
First year senior Emma Casey captured the senior girls’ javelin title with a new personal best of 29.34 metres. Casey also placed sixth in the discus that day.
Action in the jumping pits included junior boy Camden Marra winning the triple jump with a leap of 11.29 metres, followed by teammate Teo O’Malley in fourth. Marra also went on to place fifth in the long jump. Junior girls jumping duo Mikayla O’Neill and Britney Bain landed in fifth and sixth respectively in the long jump and fourth and third in the triple jump. Their success in the pits was echoed by seniors Rebecca Archibald (fifth in triple jump; third in long) and Nigel Smith (eighth in triple and fourth in long). Midget girl Kristina Barry was also sixth in both jumping events in a very large field of midget girl competitors.
Grace Judge competed in the ambulatory shot put – a new addition to OFSAA track and field this year. Judge placed third in this event and persevered to race in the vision impaired 100 metre, setting a mark in this event as the first Red Hawk athlete to compete in this category.
The Hawks rounded out the day with some strong relay finishes.
The junior girls team of Britney Bain, Kristina Barry, Molly Devolin and Mikayla O’Neill finished second overall as did the senior boys team of Walker, Wilkinson, Nigel Smith and Isaac Little. The junior boys squad suffered a setback with fumbling the relay baton, but saved by the depth of this team by having two qualifiers, they will look to regroup next week at COSSA. Shawn Walker and Isaac Little were joined by teammates Michael Stephen and Alex Little to capture the open boys’ 4 x 400 metre title – the first in any recent Red Hawks history.
Overall, an impressive 27 out of the team’s 30 athletes will move on to compete at COSSA next Thursday at the Bruce Faulds Track Facility in Belleville, as they vie for one of the top six spots for a berth to the OFSAA East Regionals the following week, also in Belleville.