This Sudbury Sports Guy: Sudbury track and field stars shine at Sault Ste. Marie

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SDSSAA’s performance at the NOSSA Track and Field Championships in Sault Ste. Marie was an impressive class to say the least, filled with both new and old high school contenders.

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When it comes to reporting secondary school athletics results, the novice girls division usually leads and flows through to the older boys at the bottom.

With Sudbury officials capturing more than half of all the events staged in Lock City last week, it’s fair to say that every age group had their fair share of success.

Leading the gold medal parade, however, were the older boys (11 gold) and the novices (10), with these groupings also including two of the three winners from three events in the form of Kaeden Ward (LEP, older boys, 1500m/3000m /2,000m steeplechase) and Marymount Academy rookie Lucia Salmaso (800m/1,500m/3,000m).

Nicho Labrecque from Lo-Ellen completed the troika by taking first place in the novice boys category in the same races as Salmaso. Interestingly, the 14-year-old Class 9 talent and longtime AAA hockey player changes his strategy slightly depending on the length of the race.

“I like to take the lead and set the pace,” said Labrecque, whose parents were both accomplished track and field athletes in their day. “In the 1,500 meters I just drove to win because I had two challenging races the next day. In the 800 meters I really had to step on the gas just to get the win.

“But the 3,000 meters is my favorite. I have the stamina and feel more comfortable over long distances – and if you make a mistake in the race you have more time to recover.”

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When asked which mistake was likely, Labrecque went on to explain that he generally doesn’t have the same final spurt as some of his competitors.

“If the pack had been close to me with 400 meters to go, it would have been a close race.”

However, jumping to the top of both the 1,500 and 3,000 at OFSAA is probably not a realistic option – Labrecque is dropping the 800 to focus on his two best events – meaning his first time in this year could actually have fun the chance to pull behind other runners.

“You just want to slide in behind them, but be careful not to get pinched where you’re stuck in a bad position and can’t get out.”

For Lockerby Composite senior Sydney Coe, the NOSSA meet offered an opportunity for a little redemption by doubling her gold medal haul in the cities to win in the second round in both the high jump and pole vault.

“I had only gone to pole vault practice before the Sudbury meet,” said Coe, a 17-year-old multisport teenager who also excels in alpine skiing and competes with the GSSC Impact competition team. “I tended to drop my head back before I was even in the air so I couldn’t get up as high as I wanted to.

“At NOSSA, they (my trainers) had moved me one step back, so I took an extra step before jumping in the air – and I was faster.”

There’s just no denying that Coe displays a natural competitiveness, a trait she noticed when crunch time mattered in the sault high jump.

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“I feel like I do better when there are people I have to jump up against and beat,” she explained. “When we were just the two of us (at NOSSA) she (Sophie Hietkamp, ​​Manitoulin) had no faults before me; I had one.

“I knew if I missed my last jump I would be second. That just gave me even more motivation to get over the last one.”

The truth is that NOSSA Athletics Championships are inherently full of young athletes excelling across a range of sporting platforms. Junior 400 and 300 hurdles champion Finlay Cuza, from Lo-Ellen, is the first to admit that her passion for Nordic skiing has replaced her love of the track, although that hasn’t necessarily led her to middle distance events , where cross-country skiers usually attack the track.

“I’ve always liked to go faster,” said Cuza. “Even skiing, sometimes when we have sprint races, I generally enjoy those distances more. But they are not often offered in skiing. Now on the track I wanted to ride shorter distances on occasion, simply because it’s about more speed.”

While Cuza has attended city meetings since her early days at RH Murray Public School in Whitefish, this is her first attempt at the hurdles, with the long hurdles (300-400m) offering some different challenges than the sprint/short hurdles.

“In the 300-meter hurdles you can’t really count your steps – there are too many steps between each hurdle – so you have to get good at walking over the hurdles with both feet,” said Cuza. “At the beginning of the season I definitely had a stronger leg (right leg). But after working on it and coming up on different legs before the hurdles, I feel like the two are pretty balanced now.”

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Cuza and the others will head to York University’s Toronto Track and Field Center, the site of OFSAA 2022, later this week. Although she’s never been there before, finding information about the event isn’t too difficult when a student calls Lo-Ellen Park at the high school home.

“I’ve heard the OFSAA track is one of the biggest events – and one of the toughest to do well at,” said Cuza. “I went to OFSAA for cross-country running, so I know what it’s going to be like, but I’ve heard this is different in every way.”

After COVID-19 wiped out the OFSAA route in 2020 and 2021, Lasalle Secondary senior Charlotte Eberlein is one of a few SDSSAA attendees to actually make a return visit to the All Ontario meeting.

That’s all the more impressive given that the senior women’s long jump champion and former competitive gymnast was certainly not fixated on the post-secondary career, still undecided whether she could attempt to compete with the University of Ottawa as she tackles her freshman year in geology-physics program in the fall.

Eberlein persevered.

“I’ve been training during COVID to stay in the best shape I can,” said the 18-year-old, who made his debut at OFSAA in 2019 as a Class i9 Lancer. “I love sports so much. For me, high school is about having fun and exercising; So many of our fun experiences come from sports.

“I wanted a chance to go to another OFSAA.”

The reasons for their desire have little or nothing to do with climbing the podium, although they may surprise you.

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“The athletes there are so good and I would be happy to compete with them again,” said Eberlein. “When I competed in ninth grade, I almost ended up at the bottom, but I wasn’t even upset about it because I knew I was competing against some of the best athletes in Ontario, maybe some of the best athletes in Canada.

“I just think you have to absorb everything and really have fun. You see all these great athletes and you’re almost in awe of how good they are.”

The following is a complete list of SDSSAA winners at NOSSA (to the best of my knowledge):


– Marin O’Malley (STB), 100m dash, 13.51

– Milena Kulik (LEP), 200m dash, 28.55

– Gracie Dale (LEP), 400m, 1:07.04

– Lucia Salmaso (MMT), 800m, 2:35.77

– Lucia Salmaso (MMT), 1,500m, 5:23.80

– Lucia Salmaso (MMT), 3,000m, 11:50.77

– Sidney Skrobot (LEP), 80m hurdles, 14.31

– Sidney Skrobot (LEP), high jump, 1.38m

– Evelyn Holloway (LCS), pole vault, 2.15m

– Kayeisha Thomas (MMT), shot put, 9.76m

novice boys

– Adam Urso (STC), 400m, 57.77

– Nicho Labrecque (LEP), 800m, 2:16.67

– Nicho Labrecque (LEP), 1,500m, 4:45.64

– Nicho Labrecque (LEP), 3,000m, 10:22.70

– Logan Mannella (LAS), 100m hurdles, 15.66

– Corey Lacroix (LEP), 300m hurdles, 46.19

– Riley Graffi (LEP), high jump, 1.58m

– Will Mackey (LAS), triple jump, 10.52m

younger girls

– Finlay Cuza (LEP), 400m, 1:05.31

– Lauren Pineau (LCS) 800m, 2:26.77

– Georgia Wilson (CFD), 80m hurdles, 14.45

– Finlay Cuza (LEP), 300m hurdles, 50.78

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– Alissa Diavolitsis (LCS), high jump, 1.45m

– Chloe Rinaldi (HOR), shot put, 9.96m

– Lo-Ellen Park Secondary, 4x100m relay, 55.14

younger guys

– Jacob Barney (LEP), 100m dash, 11/12

– Sam Rice (LEP), 1,500m, 4:33.77

– Sam Rice (LEP), 3,000m, 9:41.42

– Caleb Lalonde (CHMP), 100m hurdles, 16.66

– Jacob Barney (LEP), 300m hurdles, 47.98

– Adam Scott (LEP), high jump, 1.65m

– Corbin Appleby (LCS), pole vault, 2.00 m

– Evan Abel (LIV), triple jump, 11.17m

– James Scott (STC), javelin throw, 42.37 m

Older girls

– Sophie Moore (LEP), 100m hurdles, 17.46

– Sydney Coe (LCS), high jump, 1.52m

– Sydney Coe (LCS), pole vault, 2.20 m

– Charlotte Eberlein (LAS), long jump, 4.70 m

– Abigail Howsare (LCS), shot put, 9.59 m

older boys

– Brandon Radey (LAS), 400m, 53.48

– Liam Lacroix (LEP), 800m, 2:07.14

– Kaeden Ward (LEP), 1,500m, 4:23.64

– Kaeden Ward (LEP), 3,000m, 9:44.05

– Caden Fabbro (LEP), 110m hurdles, 16.62

– Ryan Rubic (LIV), high jump, 1.75m

– Luca Graffi (LCS), pole vault, 2.82 m

– Brady Ducharme (LCS), triple jump, 11.85m

– Cameron Shanks (LEP), shot put, 12.14m

– Ethan Scott (LEP), javelin throw, 43.45 m

– Kaeden Ward (LEP), 2,000m Steeplechase, 7:06.83

Riley Cornthwaite (intellectually impaired)

– 100-meter dash, 15.58

– 800m run, 2:54.58

Randy Pascal is that Sudbury Sports Guy. Read his columns in the Sudbury Star regularly.


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