Peacock on top at Invitational

Matthew Gourlie
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Cold start to track season at Gutheridge

The temperatures may have been low, but the enthusiasm was high Saturday as the high school track and field season kicked off.

Peaocock's Lane Bossence, right, pulls away from Ryan Caufield from Regina Luther in the senior boys 200-metre sprint at the Moose Jaw Invitational Track & Field Meet at Gutheridge Field Saturday.

A field of 418 athletes represented 25 schools at the annual Moose Jaw Invitational meet at Gutheridge Field.

Peacock won the meet with 449 points finishing well ahead of Swift Current who had 345. Vanier was third and Central fourth.

"We're having a fantastic day," said Peacock coach Renee Verge. "That's huge for us. I can't remember the last time Peacock won this meet.

"Everyone is in the same boat, it's their first meet of the season, so to perform this well is awesome for us."

While it was the start of the season for all of the athletes, for many it was their first high school meet period.

Central's Jonah Branning ran the 100-metres in a record time of 11.24 seconds. He also won the long jump and triple jump. His triple jump of 12.43 metres was a personal best as was his long jump of 5.54m.

"I did elementary school, but it wasn't nearly this big," said Branning. "It was a lot of fun and it was a good experience."

The Grade 9 student broke Brandon Gauthier's record from 2010.

"That was the best time I've ran by far," said Branning.

He wasn't the only record breaker on the day.

Sabrina Mainil from Weyburn broke the senior girls 100m record in a time of 12.37 seconds. The old record of 12.45 was set in 1986 by Kelly Longmuir from Riverview. Mainil broke the record in a heat and Braylee Fair from Lloydminster also broke the record in the same heat as she ran 12.43. Mainil won the 100m final in 12.71.

Ashley Brisebois, a Grade 10 from Gravelbourgh High School, broke the midget girls shot put record. Her throw of 10.11 metres broke the record of 9.93m set by Peacock's McKenna Ehman in 2010.

"It's the farthest I've ever thrown," said Brisebois who had never broken 10 metres previously. "Shot put has always been my favourite and I've done it since Grade 7."

Thanks to a late birthday, Brisebois is a second-year midget. She finished sixth in the shot put at provincials a year ago and would love to improve on that finish when Moose Jaw hosts the SHSAA provincial meet June 6-7 at Gutheridge Field.

Though the day started with temperatures near freezing, the competitors battled through the elements.

"I was pretty cold and my muscles got pretty tight," said Branning. "It was tough."

Verge praised the athletes for taking care of themselves and be prepared to compete.

"The kids are doing a fantastic job. They're being smart about how they're dressing and obviously warm-up is crucial at this point," she said.

For the second straight year a late spring hasn't made for an easy start to the track season, but Verge said dealing with the elements is part of life on the track in Saskatchewan.

"We've had to have two indoor practices, but for the rest we just told the kids to suck it up," said Verge. "It's not quite as wet as it was last year. It's just been cold."

Because of the late Easter school break, the traditional season opening meet in Swift Current didn't take place in late April. The first local mini meet was postponed which has further condensed the season.

"We have a lot of meets squished into the next seven days," said Verge who said they will have to work to keep the athletes healthy.

A mini meet was held Monday and another will follow Wednesday before Weyburn hosts its invitational.

For complete results from Saturday please click here.

Organizations: Gravelbourgh High School, Easter school

Geographic location: Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

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