Back in competition for the first time since 2019, nearly 1,000 athletes took part in the WECSSAA track and field championships.
Despite the long layoff, five new meet records were set over the three days of competition at Sandwich Secondary School.
Massey’s Julia Scarrow broke the open girls’ 2,000-metre steeplechase mark to become the first area runner to go under eight minutes. Scarrow won in seven minutes and 49.37 seconds, which bettered the old mark of 8:17.25 set by Villanova’s Lauren Malek in 2019.
Kaiya Hlady was one of two L’Essor athletes to set new records. Hlady won the novice (midget) girls’ triple jump with a leap of 11.49 metres. That was more than two metres better than her closest rival in the competition and broke the old mark of 11.06 set in 1998.
L’Essor’s Rose Forshaw also set a new mark in senior girls’ discus with a toss of 42.34 metres, which broke the old mark of 41.18 set by Assumption’s Denise Hebert in 1982.
St. Joseph’s Anthony Cigan set a new mark in the intellectual 800 metres in a time of 2:33.90. That broke the old mark of 2:52.29, which was set by Vista Academy’s Hunter Legault in 2019. Leamington’s Dustin Sellick, who finished second to Cigan, also bettered the old record with a time of 2:50.73.
Sandwich’s Ella Steel-Douglas had the other record by winning the novice girls’ long jump with a best effort of 5.45 metres, which broke the old mark of 5.39 set by Sandwich’s Karen Bashak in 1971.
Sandwich, which had won 10-straight overall titles prior to the pandemic, made it 11 consecutive teams overall and AAA titles. Massey took second and Holy Names was third.
In the AA/A division, Vista Academy also repeated its title win from 2019 and placed fifth overall. Essex was second and Belle River third.
Canadiens top seed
The Lakeshore Canadiens carry the top seed into Saturday’s Schmalz Cup semifinal in the Provincial Junior Hockey League following round-robin competition.
Lakeshore lost it’s final round-robin game 4-1 to Clarington on Thursday, but finished with a 2-1 record and the best goal differential to get the top seed. Lakeshore will face fourth-seeded Grimsby in Saturday’s semifinal. Grimsby lost all three round-robin games, but each by a single goal with one in overtime.
“I think we learned the importance of playing 60 minutes and the quality of teams we are playing,” Canadiens’ head coach Anthony Iaquinta said of the lessons learned in round-robin play. “We had a few shifts off and now we are playing really good teams and they will make you pay for it. We just have to get our intensity level up and compete on pucks.”
Stayner will face Clarington in the other semifinal with the two winners meeting on Sunday in the Schmalz Cup final.
Canada picks Lumley
University of Windsor Lancers associate track and field head coach Brett Lumley was named to the Canadian para coaching staff for this summer’s Commonwealth Games on Friday by Athletics Canada and Commonwealth Sports Canada.
Lumley has previously coached for Canada at the World U20 Championships, Francophone Games, World University Championships and World Youth Championships.
The Commonwealth Games are set to be held July 28 to Aug. 8 in Birmingham, England.