Ward, apparently, had good reason to remain confident as the South End powerhouse prevailed on May 22, outdistancing the Vikes by some 40 points or so as their dominance in the hurdles and relays began to take hold.
With a race this tight, split-second victories can be key. Few were tighter than the junior girls 100m dash, with the top four separated by 9/100th of a second. Michelle Corallo (LOE) and Sidney Smith (MMT) finished with identical times of 13.35, with Corallo earning the nod by virtue of a slight lean of the shoulders confirmed in the photo finish.
"I thought that I was going to come close to first, but maybe not first, because I know some of these girls can beat me," said Corallo after the race. "I was trying to get across the line as fast as I could, so I made my stride longer."
Having experienced OFSAA competition only by virtue of being part of the midget girls 4x100m relay team last summer, Corallo is hopeful of securing a berth coming out of NOSSA next week in Sault Ste. Marie, though she knows that there is very little to choose between Smith, Meagan McGaughey (13.42) and Brooke Kennedy (13.44) and herself.
No such concern for Karly Hellstrom of Lasalle, who shared the midget girls individual aggregate trophy with Allison Byrnes of Marymount, as both young ladies were among the six competitors, in total, who finished the two-day meet with three gold medals (not including relays).
Hellstrom was coming off a strong season in her first year of high school cross-country running, having topped all local athletes in terms of an OFSAA-best performance, though she decided to cut back the distances somewhat on the track.
"I really like the 800m, so I knew for sure I was doing that one," she explained. "Then we talked about just giving the 400m a try. I did it at relays and had 1:02, 1:03 split times, so I thought I would keep that as one of my events.
"I wasn't really big on doing the 3000m, because I prefer to run in the bush, with more to explore, instead of being on the track and running around in circles."
In the end, the talented Grade 9 student would sweep the 400m (1:03.16), the 800m (2:28.62) and the 1500m (5:21.01), with Byrnes earning gold in the long jump (5.06 metres), the triple jump (10.07m) and the 100m dash (13.06 seconds).
Byrnes' best effort in the long jump registered one of 10 new records that were inscribed into the books on Wednesday and Thursday, breaking the former mark of 4.58m courtesy of Grace Thomson of Lockerby in 2007.
Also establishing a new standard was junior boys high jumper Noah LaPierre from Lasalle, moving the bar up from 1.85 metres (Brandon Mask - Lasalle - 2011) to 1.88 metres.
"The weather was perfect, my legs felt good — I thought it was very reachable to get the record today," said LaPierre. "It started to rain a little bit before the competition, which made me a little nervous about the surface getting slippery."
With the precipitation holding off, the anticipation mounted as the local basketball star focused on his technique.
"I always have the height on my jump, it's more just a matter of looking back and getting my butt up.
"Almost every one of my misses is my butt hitting the bar. I get the same feedback with every coach. So if my butt's up, it's going to be a good day."
Like many midget-aged SDSSAA athletes, LaPierre struggled with his first OFSAA in 2013, not coming close to jumping heights that he could routinely reach in practice as the environment of competing against year-round track and field athletes took hold.
"You're a big fish in a small pond living in Northern Ontario, and then you get to OFSAA and everyone is that big fish," he said. "OFSAA is a completely different experience, a lot different than competing here."
Joining Hellstrom and Byrnes in the three-gold-medal grouping were Brendan Costello (JB - Lo-Ellen), Liam Passi (SB - Lasalle), Laura Graham (SG - Lasalle) and Sarah MacLean (SG - Lockerby), with Mukenge Muray (Lockerby) taking the midget boys individual aggregate, and Meagan McGaughey (CND) and Nicole Conlin (Lo-Ellen) splitting the same in the junior girls ranks.
Following is a complete listing of the day two winners:
100m dash - Allison Byrnes (MMT) – 13.06
400m - Karly Hellstrom (LAS) – 1:03.16
1500m - Karly Hellstrom (LAS) – 5:21.01
300m hurdles - Allison Caswell (LOE) – 51.38
Long Jump - Allison Byrnes (MMT) – 5.06m
Triple Jump - Allison Byrnes (MMT) – 10.07m
Shot Put - Keighly Steinke-Gauthier (LAS) – 7.99m
4x100m - Lockerby – 56.34
100m dash - Mukenge Muray (LCS) – 12.22
400m - Ethan Gladu (LCS) – 58.05
1500m - Stavros Gallant (LCS) – 5:24.20
300m hurdles - Nick Zmijowskyj (LOE) – 46.85
Triple Jump - Daz Daley (ESMC) – 11.34m
Shot Put - Nicolas Landry (ESMC) – 12.15m
Discus - Andrew Rocha (STB) – 32.86m
4x100m - Lockerby – 50.02
100m dash - Michelle Corallo (LOE) – 13.35
400m - Kennedi Cashmore (LAS) – 1:04.46
1500m - Karly Piro (STB) – 5:27.00
300m hurdles - Kennedy Roy (LOE) – 48.28
High Jump - Helena Havlovic (LOE) – 1.51m
Triple Jump - Nicole Conlin (LOE) – 9.72m
Discus - Katryna Rogerson (LOE) – 25.77m
4x100m - Lo-Ellen – 53.22
100m dash - Ryan Mooney (STC) – 11.75
400m – Graham Noble-Poland (LOE) – 58.13
1500m - Brendan Costello (LOE) – 5:24.17
300m hurdles - Graham Noble-Poland (LOE) – 44.17
High Jump - Noah LaPierre (LAS) – 1.88m
Discus - Chris Moutsatso (LOE) – 40.98m
Javelin - Chris Moutsatso (LOE) – 42.82m
4x100m - Lo-Ellen – 48.24
100m dash - Danielle Roy (CND) – 12.82
400m - Laura Graham (LAS) – 1:00.80
1500m - Sarah MacLean (LCS) – 5:29.97
300m hurdles - Teagan Moxam (LCS) – 1:10.24
High Jump - Tia Richter (LAS) – 1.36m
Long Jump - Jamie Duncanson (LIV) – 4.74m
Javelin - Gabrielle Pellerin (LOE) – 28.30m
4x100m - Notre-Dame – 51.32
1500m steeplechase - Sarah MacLean (LCS) – 6:03.51
400m wheelchair - Tanya Quesnel (HOR) – 2:09.07
100m dash - Skylar Savage-Perreault (HOR) – 11.39
400m - Rudy Giusti (STB) – 51.59
1500m - Liam Passi (LAS) – 4:28.96
400m hurdles - Reinhardt Grobler (LOE) – 1:00.48
Long Jump - Mathieu Kingsley (CND) – 5.69m
Shot Put - Keegan Moore (LOE) – 13.56
Javelin - Keegan Moore (LOE) – 48.09
4x100m - Lo-Ellen – 46.32
2000m steeplechase - Liam Passi (LAS) – 6:42.21
100m blind - Chris Barclay (LOE) - 13.65