Branning overcomes injury to win two medals

Matthew Gourlie
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Chernick leaps to gold for South Central

Jonah Branning wasn't at 100 per cent Friday.

Mossbank's Noah Miller finished second in the senior boys javelin at the SHSAA track and field provincials in Moose Jaw Friday.

However, the Grade 9 Central speedster got the most out of what he had left to give.

Branning is nursing a hip injury, but he managed to come from behind to win the midget boys 100-metre race at the SHSAA provincial track and field championships at Gutheridge Field. Branning also attempted one jump in the long jump, set a personal best, and called it a day. His leap of 5.61 metres was good enough to win him a bronze medal.

"I just did my first jump and scratched the rest," said Branning.

Less than an hour after his one-jump medal he put in a fast 100m to win his first provincial gold medal.

"I didn't have a great start, but it was better than the other ones I had today," said Branning. "It feels great."

Branning will compete in the triple jump Saturday and possibley the relay depending on how his hip is feeling after he pulled a muscle in his hip flexor.

"I didn't tear the muscle, I stretched it, but it could have lead to a tear," said Branning. "It was mostly a little bit of restriction and pain, but just a little bit. I felt it more in the long jump."

Branning wasn't the only South Central athlete that earned a gold medal on the opening day of provincials.

Rouleau's Elizabeth Chernick won the senior girls triple jump.

"I'm really happy," said Chernick. "I had a personal best by 30 centimetres, so I was pretty excited. I kind of though I might medal, but I was not expecting gold."

Chernick, who is in Grade 12, won bronze in the relay a year ago.

She didn't compete in the triple jump at provincials last year, but has been working on it this season. She leaped 10.79 metres to finish ahead of Hannah Josuttes from Paradise Hill by nine centimetres. Josuettes won the junior girls provincial title a year ago.

"I've done a lot more training and practicing this year and it paid off, so that's nice to see," she said. "I hit the board right. I was always behind, so I move (my start) up and everything just worked."

Chernick just missed the final in 100m and finished ninth earlier Friday and will compete in the long jump Saturday.

She is heading to the Univ. of Regina to study education and is going to compete with the Cougars track team.

Mossbank's Noah Miller got the South Central district off to a fast start Friday.

The senior won a silver medal in the javelin during the first round events at Gutheridge Field. Miller threw 50.81 metres to finish just behind Carson Berscheid from Muenster who threw 51.08m. No one else in the senior boys field threw more than 47 metres.

"I usually throw better," said Miller who said he wasn't happy with his performance on the day. "My personal best is a 53 and I'm pretty consistent around a 52. I don't know what it was. It was just an off-day I guess."

Miller beat Berscheid last year to win a provincial gold medal, while Berscheid got the upper hand when they were in Grade 10.

"It was close," said Miller of the .27 metre difference between he and Berscheid this year.

Central's Bryton Slater also earned a medal in the midget boys 100m hurdles.

"I feel like I improved this year," said Slater, who is in Grade 10, and made his provincials debut a year ago. "I think I naturally got a little bit faster. This is my first year, I just started (doing hurdles) at cities."

Results from the opening day of provincials were unavailable at press time.

Geographic location: Grade 12, won, Regina, South Muenster

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