By Larry Moko
Six records were broken by Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association participants during Day 1 of the 2019 Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference track and field championships.
Competing against the Halton Public and Halton Catholic high school boards at Mohawk Sports Park Tuesday, Olivia Stock and Hailey Reid of the HWCAA’s St. Mary Crusaders each established a new GHAC mark while Mark Skerl of the Cardinal Newman Cardinals bettered a pair.
Jaden Mullings of the Bishop Tonnos Titans and Matthia Richards of the St. Thomas More Knights also got their names in the record books.
The top five finishers in each event of the two-day meet advance to OFSAA South Regionals May 30-31 in St. Catharines.
Stock’s record of 11.90 seconds came in the junior girls’ 80-metre hurdles while Reid raced to a 12.07 clocking in the midget girls’ 80m hurdles.
Skerl won the junior boys’ 100m hurdles in 13.86 and chalked up his second GHAC record in the long jump with a leap of 6.47m. When Skerl made his debut last season in Grade 9 he set three GHAC midget records – 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles and long jump.
Mullings’ record came in the junior girls’ long jump (5.12m), while Richards ran 11.08 in the junior boys’ 100m for his GHAC record.
Tom Bereza coaches both Skerl and Reid at the Monte Cristo Track Club. “Mark actually eased up quite a bit in the 100m hurdles,” Bereza said. “He hit the ninth hurdle and just jumped over the 10th, so he didn’t really sprint to the line.”
In the long jump, Skerl tied a personal best he achieved a couple of weeks ago in St. Thomas. “It was a really good jump today,” Bereza said. “He can do more, though. He really didn’t finish the jump or do a proper landing. He could probably jump 6.70 this season if conditions are right.”
Skerl, who holds the OFSAA midget 300m hurdles record, also set Athletics Ontario age-group records in the past 10 months in 60m hurdles and 100m hurdles.
St. Mary coaches Brian Grolla and Rob Obrovac were pleased with their team’s fast start on opening day. The Crusaders won the GHAC overall and girls’ team titles last year. “We had a sold performance in short hurdles today,” Grolla said. “Hopefully it will translate into some medals at OFSAA (next month in Guelph).”
In other action, the senior boys’ 100m final saw a tightly-contested 1-2 finish by the St. Thomas More Knights brother combination of Vincent (he won in 10.95) and Justin Irobun. They were the only two runners on the day to finish the distance in under 11 seconds.
“Justin is the younger brother of Vincent,” More coach Herbert Stewart said. “Justin had a faster time in the preliminaries but in the semis Vincent went out to make sure he had a faster time than his brother. You can see they have a little brother rivalry going on. The older one is making sure that the younger one doesn’t overtake him. It’s really good to see. I was really impressed.”
Other first-place finishes by the HWCAA were: Tiago Brum, Bishop Tonnos Titans, 100m visually impaired, 14.52; Antonio Fricano, Bishop Tonnos, 100m intellectually impaired, 13.82; Laila Hampson, Bishop Ryan Celtics, midget girls’ 100m, 13.01; Jaden Mullings, Bishop Tonnos, junior girls’ high jump, 1.45m; Rachel Watson, St. Mary, senior girls’ 400m, 1:00.59; Rachel Watson, St. Mary, senior girls 100m hurdles, 15:05; Olivia Stock, St. Mary, junior girls’ 100m, 12.65; Martin Ndebay, Cathedral Gaels, midget boys’ 100m, 11.60; Roman Campanaro, St. Mary, midget boys’ 100m hurdles, 16.77; Sam Alfano, St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves, midget boys’ javelin, 37.80; Darren Luneberg, St. Jean de Brebeuf, junior boys’ javelin, 43.43.