That said, the challenge of matching talent with the very best of the province was not lost on the crew of 80 or so SDSSAA athletes, with only nine of them being able to walk away stating they had cracked the OFSAA top 10.
The group was led by a gold-medal performance from Lasalle junior jumper Ryan Taylor, who came through on his sixth and final attempt, surging from third place to place himself at the top of the heap on the triple jump with a leap of 13.73 metres.
One year ago, Taylor could not come close to hitting his personal best marks, succumbing to the pressure that often grips first-time OFSAA competitors.
"Last year helped me a lot," he acknowledged at a Track North Twilight Meet this week.
"In the south, even if you're really good, you're not sure that you're going to make it to OFSAA. Up here, if you're really good, you know that you're going. It's a whole different atmosphere."
With a podium placement tucked away after his first two jumps, Taylor realized that it was going to take a new PB in order to challenge for first place.
"I try and get it done early in the competition, that usually plays on other kids' minds," said Taylor.
"But obviously that didn't work out at OFSAA. I mean, my early jumps would still have got me a bronze."
Taylor, however, longed for more.
"I had nothing to lose — I decided just to go for it," he recalled of his final jump, covering a distance that allowed him to finish five centimetres ahead of James Tyler of North Lambton.
While the technical intricacies that go into the unveiling the perfect triple jump are many, Taylor acknowledged that trying not to clutter his mind too much would be key.
"I don't even think about it," he said. "I just go, because I've done it so many times in practices. It's natural now."
Joining Taylor in the SDSSAA medal-winning quartet was fellow Lasalle junior teammate Noah LaPierre, who sailed through his first five high jumps, from 1.65m to 1.85m, claiming silver behind Sebastian Smith of Northern CIVS.
Like Taylor, LaPierre had not performed up to his personal standards in 2013, but managed to zone in to his comfort level in Mississauga on Saturday, equalling the height that provided him with a new city record last month at Laurentian.
A gold-medal winner last June, Danika Falvo of Notre-Dame settled for bronze this time around, recording a best throw of 34.76m to claim third place in the junior girls javelin, despite being flagged for a foul on four of her six attempts.
Though the field is somewhat limited, Lo-Ellen silver-medal winner Chris Barclay covered the 100m blind dash in a time of 13.74 seconds, a very competitive time when matched against able-bodied athletes provincewide.
Of those who narrowly missed the podium, few at 2014 OFSAA came closer than Marymount Academy midget jumper Allison Byrnes. Not only did the first time competitor earn fourth-place ribbons in both the long jump (4.90m) and the triple jump (10.67m), she came within a hair of bronze in the long jump, landing just two centimetres shy of third place.
The remaining top 10 local finishers included Corey Huffman from Lo-Ellen (Pole Vault - SB - 4th at 4.20m), Keegan Moore of Lo-Ellen (Javelin - SB - 6th at 48.09m), Taylor in the long jump (7th at 5.97m), Braiden Henri of Notre-Dame (Pole Vault - JB - 8th at 3.20m), Alex Smith of Lo-Ellen (Javelin - MB - 9th at 43.00m) and Falvo in the discus (10th at 25.75m).
Following is a complete breakdown of results for all SDSSAA athletes who competed at the 2014 OFSAA Track & Field Championships (* while every effort is made to ensure that no local athletes are overlooked, any errors/omissions should be reported to Randy Pascal at [email protected]):
Long Jump - Allison Byrnes (Marymount) - 4.90m (4th)
Triple Jump - Allison Byrnes (Marymount) - 10.67m (4th)
800m - Karly Hellstrom (Lasalle) - 2:21.50 (12th)
400m - Karly Hellstrom (Lasalle) - 1:02.56 (18th)
100m - Allison Byrnes (Marymount) - 13.76 (22nd)
800m - Allison Caswell (Lo-Ellen) - 2:34.54 (22nd)
1500m - Kennedy Cresswell (ESMC) - 5:30.55 (22nd)
4 X 100m relay - Lockerby (Maki/Roy/Laberge/McDougall) - 55.85 (20th)
Javelin - Alex Smith (Lo-Ellen) - 43.00m (9th)
Pole Vault - Liam Fraser (Lockerby) - 2.60m (11th)
100m hurdles - Mukenge Muray (Lockerby) - 15.76 (13th)
High Jump - Joel Huffman (Lo-Ellen) - 1.60m (17th)
Shot Put - Alex Paquette (Notre-Dame) - 12.03m (19th)
100m hurdles - Oliver Ecclestone-Sterling (Lockerby) - 16.52 (21st)
300m hurdles - Oliver Ecclestone-Sterling (Lockerby) - 46.44 (21st)
Shot Put - Kyle Bellefeuille (Notre-Dame) - 11.57m (22nd)
100m hurdles - Nick Zmijowskyj (Lo-Ellen) - 16.74 (22nd)
300m hurdles - Nick Zmijowskyj (Lo-Ellen) - 46.73 (22nd)
Pole Vault - Joel Huffman (Lo-Ellen) - 2.10m (23rd)
Long Jump - Ryan Rouleau (Lively) - 4.86m (23rd)
4 X 100m relay - Lockerby (Ecclestone/Terry/Gladu/Tulini) - 48.18 (17th)
4 X 100m relay - Lo-Ellen (Zmijowskyj/Gore/Smith/Baath) - 50.48 (21st)
Javelin - Danika Falvo (Notre-Dame) - 34.76m (BRONZE)
Discus - Danika Falvo (Notre-Dame) - 25.75m (10th)
Pole Vault - Lindsay Boland (Lo-Ellen) - 2.10m (13th)
Pole Vault - Cailey Moxam (Lockerby) - 2.10m (13th)
300m hurdles - Kennedy Roy (Lo-Ellen) - 47.40 (13th)
Long Jump - Taylor McGaughey (Notre-Dame) - 4.68m (14th)
Discus - Carine Dimaio (Notre-Dame) - 24.88m (15th)
Pole Vault - Emilie Honse (Notre-Dame) - 2.10m (16th)
80m hurdles - Michelle Corallo (Lo-Ellen) - 13.20 (17th)
400m - Kennedi Cashmore (Lasalle) - 1:05.98 (18th)
300m hurdles - Nicole Conlin (Lo-Ellen) - 48.83 (19th)
Javelin - Katryna Rogerson (Lo-Ellen) - 27.14m (19th)
High Jump - Hope Joly (Marymount) - 1.40m (19th)
200m - Meagan McGaughey (Notre-Dame) - 27.99 (19th)
Long Jump - Meagan McGaughey (Notre-Dame) - 4.49m (20th)
100m - Sidney Smith (Marymount) - 13.70 (22nd)
High Jump - Kennedy Sikora (Lockerby) - 1.30m (22nd)
80m hurdles - Montana McCulloch (Lockerby) - 14.83 (23rd)
800m - Brianne Bélanger (Sacré-Coeur) - 2:33.23 (23rd)
4 X 100m relay - Lo-Ellen (Nantais/Corallo/Conlin/Roy) - 51.69 (15th)
4 X 100m relay - Notre-Dame (Belanger/McGaughey/McGaughey/Kingsley) - 54.64 (21st)
4 X 100m relay - Lockerby (Bagnato/Ransom/Wilkinson/McCulloch) - 1:00.61 (23rd)
Triple Jump - Ryan Taylor (Lasalle) - 13.73 (GOLD)
High Jump - Noah LaPierre (Lasalle) - 1.85m (SILVER)
Long Jump - Ryan Taylor (Lasalle) - 5.97m (7th)
Pole Vault - Braiden Henri (Notre-Dame) - 3.20m (8th)
High Jump - Alex Tegman (Confederation) - 1.75m (11th)
800m - Brendan Costello (Lo-Ellen) - 2:00.35 (12th)
Pole Vault - Noah Serre (Notre-Dame) - 3.00m (12th)
Shot Put - Tanner Horgan (Lockerby) - 14.69m (13th)
1500m - Brendan Costello (Lo-Ellen) - 4:16.76 (13th)
Pole Vault - Jared Loyer (Lockerby) - 2.80m (16th)
Pole Vault - Ward Kyle (Lockerby) - 2.80m (16th)
100m hurdles - Jeff Walton (Lasalle) - 15.61 (19th)
200m - Matt Bell (St Charles College) - 25.74 (22nd)
400m - Stephen Berardi (St Benedict) - 57.08 (23rd)
Pole Vault - Kendra Koskiniemi (Notre-Dame) - 2.80m (12th)
Pole Vault - Jennifer Drane (Lockerby) - 2.60m (13th)
400m - Laura Graham (Lasalle) - 59.91 (17th)
400m hurdles - Teagan Moxam (Lockerby) - 1:08.78 (18th)
Pole Vault - Erin Watters (Lo-Ellen) - 2.60m (18th)
200m - Laura Graham (Lasalle) - 26.48 (20th)
Pole Vault - Mikela Gauthier (Notre-Dame) - 2.40m (20th)
Triple Jump - Renée Auger (St Charles College) - 10.09m (21st)
1500m steeplechase - Sarah MacLean (Lockerby) - 5:58.54 (21st)
200m - Natasha Mayer (Notre-Dame) - 27.10 (22nd)
4 X 400m relay - Lasalle (Cashmore/Marcotte/Hellstrom/Graham) - 4:08.34 (15th)
4 X 100m relay - Notre-Dame (Thorpe/Roy/Mayer/Philipow) - 51.55 (18th)
4 X 100m relay - Lockerby (Brosseau/Moxam/Drane/Guy) - 51.93 (21st)
Pole Vault - Corey Huffman (Lo-Ellen) - 4.20m (4th)
Javelin - Keegan Moore (Lo-Ellen) - 48.09 (6th)
400m hurdles - Reinhardt Grobler (Lo-Ellen) - 59.00 (12th)
High Jump - Chase Kilganon (Sacré-Coeur) - 1.90m (14th)
Pole Vault - Alain Ament (Notre-Dame) - 3.50m (15th)
100m hurdles - Reinhardt Grobler (Lo-Ellen) - 15.87 (17th)
Shot Put - Eric Paquette (Notre-Dame) - 12.96m (18th)
Shot Put - Keegan Moore (Lo-Ellen) - 12.60m (19th)
Pole Vault - Pierce Wallingford (Lo-Ellen) - 3.30m (22nd)
4 X 400m relay - Lo-Ellen (Wallingford/Grobler/Brown/Dawson) - 3:31.66 (13th)
4 X 100m relay - Lo-Ellen (Mirka/Wallingford/Farmer/Milford) - 45.70 (19th)
100m - Skylar Savage-Perreault (Horizon) - 11.76 (22nd)
100m blind - Chris Barclay (Lo-Ellen) - 13.74 (SILVER)