By Larry Moko
You’ve got to hand it to the 4x100-metre boys’ high school relay teams from St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School.
They continue to have amazing success on the track.
At the 2019 Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference track and field championships, More raced to victory in all three age-group categories of the 4x100. The Knights swept those races with winning times of 44.50 seconds in senior, 47.10 in junior and 48.40 in midget.
The two-day GHAC meet concluded Wednesday at Mohawk Sports Complex with the top five in each event qualifying for the May 30-31 OFSAA South Regionals in St. Catharines.
Ruth St. Pierre, who coaches the relay speedsters at More, says she can’t recall a similar GHAC domination before in relays by a Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic school.
“Definitely not in recent history,” she said. “I’ve been at More since 2001 and I know there hasn’t been a sweep.”
The More senior boys’ 4x100m team – winner of OFSAA gold in 2018 – has a different look this year. It is comprised of Justin Irobun, Vincent Irobun, Jamir Gray and Marqus Rookwood.
The Knights junior foursome includes Somto Chuks, Nathaniel Abera, Kyle Castillo and Matthias Richards, while the midget team consists of Lucas Merla, Phuma Marandure, Daniel Castro-Maradiaga and Jack Stewart.
“We (the coaches) are ecstatic,” St. Pierre said. “Our runners have so much talent.”
A former GHAC athlete and long time Halton coach before arriving at More, St. Pierre says all three of her boys’ 4x100 teams still have room to improve and need to stay focused.
“The real trick would be getting them all out of South Regionals next week,” St. Pierre said of the final qualifying event before the provincial high school championships in Guelph next month.
“At practice, we’ll be working to perfect the passes and make them smoother. We never want to let the baton slow down. We want to run right through to the finish line.”
In other events on Day 2 of GHAC, Mark Skerl of the Cardinal Newman Cardinals broke his third conference record of the meet. His latest triumph came in the junior boys’ 300m hurdles (39.03).
The rest of the HWCAA’s gold-medal winners were: Hailey Reid, St. Mary, midget girls shot put, 9.30m; Tomas Rozman, Cardinal Newman, midget boys’ shot put, 10.40; Jaden Mullings, Bishop Tonnos, junior girls’ triple jump, 10.68m; Logan Garvey, Brebeuf, senior girls’ discus, 27.89; St. Mary senior girls’ 4x100m relay team (Taryn Millar, Olivia Stock, Rachel Watson, Nia Ebos) 50.20; Olivia Dodds, More, midget girls’ 800m, 2:26.50; Isabella Bauman, St. Mary, junior girls’ 800m, 2:31.20; Lachlan Perigord, St. Mary, junior boys’ 800m, 2:07.70; Meagan Stager, Bishop Tonnos, senior girls’ 800m, 2:32.30; Rachel Watson, St. Mary, senior girls’ 400m hurdles, 1:05.10; Hailey Reid, St. Mary, junior girls’ 300m hurdles, 47.73; Antonio Fricano, Bishop Tonnos, 800m run ambulatory, 2:29.10; Jenna Huibers, Bishop Ryan, midget girls’ discus, 22.71; Isabella Knezivic, Bishop Ryan, junior girls’ discus, 26.15; St. Mary girls’ 4x400m open relay (Rachel Watson, Nia Ebos, Isabella Bauman, Taryn Millar) 4:15.20; Sam Alfano, Brebeuf, midget boys’ discus, 31.91; JP Sardo, Bishop Ryan, junior boys’ shot put, 11.63; Vincent Irobun, More, senior boys’ 200m, 22.87; Darius Bell, More, senior boys’ shot put, 12.37; Elijah Ayippey, Bishop Ryan, senior boys’ discus, 34.89m.