South Central continues successful run

Matthew Gourlie
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Moose Jaw wins 22 medals as provincial track hosts

South Central is making a habit of being near the top of the medal standings.

For the fifth straight year the South Central district finished in the top six out of 14 regions at the SHSAA track and field provincial championships.

After starting the final day in fourth place, the local region settled for sixth place just behind Regina and Central Valley.

The stands at Gutheridge Field were jammed on both days as 1,600 athletes from across the province put their best efforts forth for the second straight year in the Friendly City.

The South Central athletes finished with 22 medals — five gold, six silver and 11 bronze.

Noah Miller from Mossbank got South Central's first medal of the weekend and he finished third overall in the senior boys individual rankings. Miller finished second in the javelin, third in the triple jump, sixth in the 100-metre hurdles and 11th in the long jump.

Vanier's Gabrielle Sanson and Central's Jonah Branning led the way. Both Grade 9 students won a gold medal and picked up a pair of bronze medals at their provincial debuts.

Sanson won the midget girls 400m and was third in the 100m and the 200m. Branning won gold in the 100m and bronze in the long jump and triple jump.

"It's really awesome to see, but it's also really well spread out with the kids. Jonah (Branning) obviously had a really good performance, but there were a lot of other kids that were very successful," said Central track coach Logan Petlak.

"A lot of the kids had personal bests as well and at a setting like this that's all you can ask for."

After finishing second amongst 3A schools last year, Central was leading midway through Saturday, but ended up finishing third in a close race. Vanier was sixth in 3A.

Caronport finished second amongst 2A schools and Assiniboia was ninth. Peacock was seventh in 4A.

Saskatoon won the overall district title by a sizeable margin. Not only did Saskatoon repeat as the top district, they also won the award for the most improved district. West Central had the most points per 1,000 students.

"We're all very happy," said Petlak. "One of the great things with South Central is that all of the coaches help everybody. I'm sure it's the same in other districts, but once the team is picked we're all on the same team.

Gravelbourg's Ashley Brisebois and Caronport's Beth Koshinsky each won their first provincial medals.

Koshinsky had the race of her life as she finished her Grade 12 year by finishing third in the senior girls 800m.

"It was a (personal best) by four seconds, so I was really happy with it," said Koshinsky who finished in 2:26.34. "I've been training really hard for it, so I'm happy with the results."

Koshinsky began training with Excel Athletika in Regina starting in November. Since that time she took eight seconds off her 800m time since the start of the track season. She was fifth at provincials last year.

"A lot of it is a mental game, that's something I had to work on," said Koshinsky.

Brisebois started her year with a record-breaking performance in the shot put at the Moose Jaw Invitational meet. She threw 10.11m that day and her 10.09m throw Saturday was good enough for gold in the midget girls shot put.

"It's not my best, but it was good enough for today.," said the Grade 10 student. "The conditions were so much better than last year, so I thought they were great."

Brisebois threw a metre-and-a-half farther than she did the year before at provincials under rainy conditions.

Rouleau's Elizabeth Chernick finished her high school track career by winning the senior girls triple jump and finishing second in the long jump.

Libby Epoch from Peacock won silver medals in the junior girls 1,500m and 3,000m runs. Central's Taylor Kell won bronze in the junior girls 400m

Coronach's Chase Martin won a silver medal in the junior boys javelin.

Peacock's Ryan Botterill won bronze in the midget boys 100m and 200m. Coronach's Colton Thurlow won a silver medal in the  shot put and Bryton Slater from Central won bronze in the 100m in other midget boys results.

The South Central 4x400m girls relay team won gold medals to finish the meet.

The junior girls 4x100m relay team won bronze medals.

Organizations: Grade 10

Geographic location: Regina, Moose Jaw, Central Valley.The Mossbank Caronport Saskatoon

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