Unlike 2010, local athletes would not benefit from home field, home court or home pool advantage. Not that it stopped the Sudbury and area contingent from posting some very impressive results at the 2012 Ontario Summer Games in Toronto last weekend.
Following is a sport by sport account of the results from local competitors (based on those of whom we are aware were taking part.
While locals were not able to duplicate the impressive 16 medal haul that was achieved in 2010 at the Jeno Tihanyi Olympic Gold Pool, four separate athletes combined to return north with seven additional pieces of hardware from these Games.
Sudbury Laurentian Swim Club (SLSC) butterfly specialist Kasey Thompson walked away with a gold (200-m butterfly) and silver (100-m butterfly). The 15-year-old qualified for the finals in all seven races in which she competed.
Erik Wainman (Nickel City Aquatics) also reached the top of the podium, earning gold in the 100-m breaststroke and bronze at the 200-m distance of the same event.
SLSC teammates Alex Langlois (two silver medals) and Alex Sarvas (bronze) capped off the grouping of top-three finishers. Other swimmers competing from the Sudbury area included Matthew St. Louis, Natalie Lefebvre, Morgan Kivinen and Brenna Eastick.
The remaining gold-medal performance for local athletes came at the York Track and Field Centre where the karate competition was being held.
A total of six members representing Benoit's Martial Arts travelled to Toronto for the 2012 Games, with Lauren Santi, Jurne Parisotto-Charron and Brianna Smith combining to win gold in the Female Team Kata (ages 14-17).
The result topped a resume that would include a total of five medals from the Sudbury contingent, with Disal Wickrasinghu, Philip Yao and Nathan Anness finishing second in the Male Team Kata, while Wickrasinghu added a second silver in the Male Kumite and bronze in the Male Individual Kata.
Anness also walked off with a second medal, placing third in the 70-kg Male Kumite. The Benoit studio was also recognized via a previous Summer Games gold medallist as Sean Grech was named as one of two "Athlete Ambassadors" for the karate competition.
All of the above-noted competitors were representing Benoit's School of Martial Arts and were coached by Sensei Ian Boyne and Shihan Don Benoit.
A solid handful of local beach volleyball talent made their way to Ashbridges Bay for Summer Games competition. While none of the regional teams advanced beyond Sunday morning competition, all of the young athletes garnered valuable experience facing some of the top summer volleyball duos in the province.
Competing on the girls side were partners Julia Kinna and Manon Duhaime, Daniella Trodel and Lisa Romanyszyn, and Brittany Reinhardt and Stacey Gregorini. For the boys, teams included Alex Bernardi and Phil Villeneuve, and Trevor Rainville and Darren DePaolis.
Just one sole local triathlete took part at the tri-sport race hosted at Professor's Lake in Brampton. Sarah MacLean of Sudbury finished 16th overall in a time of 58:27.09.
Sitting in 18th place after both the 600-m swim (11:15) and the 15-km cycling course (28:37), MacLean made up some ground in the four-km run, posting a time of 18:37.
Just days after edging close friend and fellow Idylwylde Golf and Country Club teammate Nick Quesnel for the club's junior title, Jason Picco joined many of Ontario's top young golfers for three rounds of play at the Cedar Brae Golf and Country Club.
Displaying some solid consistency, Picco carded rounds of 82, 83 and 86, finishing with a three-day total of 251, good for 26th place at the 2012 Ontario Summer Games.
Team North assistant coach Katie Hamilton suggested at a pre-event practice that this region would be more than competitive within the girls basketball play and based on the results, she certainly spoke the truth.
The northern crew opened with a 54-40 win over South Simcoe, but dropped a tough 53-48 decision to the Capital Region to close out play on day one.
The girls bounced back on Saturday, outscoring Niagara 51-34 but fell just short of qualifying for semifinal play as Central West edged Team North 47-43. Local members of the team included Marianne Alarie, Shelby Ernst and Laura Graham.
The boys team suffered a tougher road, saddled with four straight losses. The crew fell to South Simcoe (67-52), Central East (55-47), Central West (75-44) and Capital (67-45) and did not advance.
Sudbury-based talent on the squad included Adrian Kuchtaruk, Sebastien Asselin, Nico Presot and Keegan Moore.
After struggling to find the winning formula two years ago at home, Team North skipper Jean-Gilles Larocque returned home extremely proud of what his team accomplished in Toronto.
The grouping, which included an impressive core of talent from Sudbury, Thunder Bay and a handful of other communities, completed round robin play with a record of 3-2, falling one win short of qualifying for the playoff round. Perhaps even more impressive was the fact that the team's only two losses came at the hands of the regions that went on to capture both gold and silver in the 12-team event.
Team North opened with an 11-8 win over Western Ontario Baseball Association, but dropped to 1-1 after a 7-4 loss to the Western Counties Baseball Association.
The northern lads rebounded to post an 11-6 triumph over the Sun County Baseball Association before dropping a 6-1 decision to the class of the tournament, the Toronto Baseball Association.
Playing primarily for pride, Larocque and company ensured themselves a record of better than
.500, closing out play with a 7-3 victory over the Hamilton District Baseball Association.