By Larry Moko
Meet the new meet.
Hosted by staff from Bishop Ryan and Dundas Valley, the inaugural May Madness high school track and field competition was held at the Ray Lewis Centre Friday.
About 1,300 athletes representing 19 Catholic and Public high schools in Hamilton and Halton participated.
“We just decided to have another practice meet for kids,” Bishop Ryan convenor Julie Kersley said. “Events like the 200 and 400 meters that weren’t at other meets they attended earlier in the year such as the Mark Graham and McMaster Relays.
“It’s a lot of work but we’re enjoying it. We’ll try to make it an annual event.”
The road to the OFSAA track and field championships for Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic hopefuls officially begins with the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference qualifier on May 16, 25 and 26.
One of the Bishop Ryan runners who used the newest Hamilton event to fine tune for GHAC was J’Noy Davis. The speedster recently accepted a track scholarship from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.
“I know somebody who goes to that school and they told me it’s a pretty good program,” said Davis, who formerly trained at the Hamilton Olympic Club. “I’ve been talking to the coach for the past couple of months. I like what they have to offer and the scholarship money was good enough so I decided to go.”
Davis, 19, came to BR from his native Barbados three years ago. He’ll be entering the 200m, 400m and the 4x1 relay this season.
“We’re grateful to have him,” Celtics coach and meet organizer Mike Hall said. “He brings such a positive energy. Through his camaraderie and leadership he’s built a core group of athletes that are working together to be better.”
Another Bishop Ryan track star who will soon be competing at the next level is Laila Hampson. The HOC veteran broke the GHAC long jump record last year and will be attending York University on a track scholarship.
“Laila has been the captain and a coach of our team. She’s organized spring training for all of the athletes in the school,” Hall said. “At York she’ll compete in the 100m, 200m and long jump.”
One of the best performances at May Madness was by Victoria Zolaturiuk of the Bishop Tonnos Titans. She won the novice girls’ 200m race in 26.42 seconds.
“I want to keep getting better and keep getting faster,” Zolaturiuk said. “It was a PB for me outdoors.
Commenting on her race, Tonnos coach Sean McPhee said. “The sky’s the limit for her.”
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic winners included Amelia Dodds of St. Thomas More, who took the senior girls 400m (57.23) and 800m (2:13.87). Abdoulaye Bah of Bishop Ryan also raced to two victories – in the senior boys’ 400m (49.76) and the 200m (22.41).
Other first-place finishers from the HWCDSB were: Maleik Allen, More, NB 200m, 24.79; Alessia Ruiu, Bishop Ryan, JG 300m hurdles, 50.86; Isaiah Slegtenhorst, Brebeuf, NB 300m hurdles, 48.90; Ben Kingston, Bishop Ryan, JB 300m hurdles, 45.80; Kendry Georges, Bishop Ryan, SB 400m hurdles, 1:02.95; Chloe Seiller, Tonnos, JG 800m, 2:27.98; Bishop Ryan, SB 4x100 relay, 44.74; St. Thomas More, JB 4x100 relay, 47.67; St. Thomas More, NB 4x100 relay, 48.55.
In field events, first-place finishes went to: Peter Konney, Brebeuf, NB high jump, 1.65m; Martin Samuel, Bishop Ryan, JB high jump, 1.65m; Latoya Fletcher, More, NG high jump, 1.40m; Baraa Benelhadj, Bishop Ryan, JG high jump, 1.45m; Uyiosa Osa-Igbinosa, More, NB triple jump, 10.89m; Isaiah Johnson, Bishop Ryan, JB triple jump, 10.50; Latoya Fletcher, Bishop Ryan, NG triple jump, 8.80m; Samantha Lipinski, Bishop Ryan, JG triple jump, 9.92m; Darien Joseph, Brebeuf, NB shot put, 10.68m; Jack Cino, Brebeuf, JB shot put, 13.02m.