Ice Chips and Canoe Quips – Manitoulin Sporting Life – June 13, 2018

-By Larry and André Leblanc


I apologize to these great athletes and missed your amazing accomplishments at NOSSA. At the Northern Ontario Championships in Sault Ste. Marie, MSS’s James Scott qualified for OFSAA with a first in the 1500 m (4:20.77) and a 2:01.96 in the 800 m. Amber Wiwchar had two close thirds in the 800m and 1500m, but clinched the 3000 m as she jetted in for a 11:32.87 in an astounding effort. The accomplishment more importantly marked Amber’s fastest time in the distance and not just a narrow clocking below her previous P.B., she eclipsed her old mark amazingly by over a minute! Mya Otosquaiob came second in the long jump which was three cm short of a trip to OFSSA for her. Many of the other athletes achieved personal bests, including Mackenzie Cortes in the 400 m, Ella Stewart in the 800 and 1500, and Douglas Robinson in the 200 m, 400 m and long jump.  On top of the usual stresses high school athletes would face at this level, some Mustangs had to battle some outrageous weather in their events which rendered personal bests just out of reach.

Down in Toronto, at OFSAA, James Scott ran a 4:12:40 1500 m and a 1:57:67 800 m. Both were PBs (personal bests) of notable margin. He has been trying to crack the two min mark in the 800 m. Last year he ran 2:00:07. He placed 4th in his heat in the 800 and 15th overall! Amber Wiwchar had her first experience running with this level of elite runners. She came out to stay with the pack in the 3000 m. She dug a pretty deep hole of fatigue early on and had a hard time climbing out of it for the latter half of the race. Although she didn’t PB she did get some very valuable race experience. The final word has to go to Coach Jon Balfe, “to all track and field athletes, remember that the off season doesn’t exist.”

17th Annual Classic looms

The Mindemoya Classic run, paddle and pedal triathlon is heading into its 17th offering and organizers are hoping for another great year. The event’s motto: “a challenge for everyone” still holds true and organizers encourage everyone to give it a try. The Classic is part of the annual Central Manitoulin Lions Club Homecoming weekend over the Canada Day long weekend. This year the race falls on Sunday, July 1st as it did way back in 2002. Come on out and fly the Red and White for Canada Day!

The event is a lot of fun with something from the ultra to the anti-competitive and all for a “can’t-be-beat” price. The race that started out as a co-ed team-of-four event only has grown to include an open pairs division as well as a solo, race category. As part of a team you can choose to enter the relay version where a team of four will have one runner (5.5km), two paddling a canoe (approximately 3.5km) and finally, your fourth person will bike (13km). A relay-pairs team will have one who runs, both paddling and one who bikes. The other way to complete the challenge is to try your hand and feet at the endurance race where all members of your team (4’s, pairs or solo) complete each of the 3 legs with a team of four using 2 canoes.

For more information check out the website at or search it on YouTube. You can see past years’ photos and results and pre-register (guaranteed t-shirt size on race day and five dollars cheaper!) all in one handy location. If you are still in search of a team or just need one more to make up that foursome drop an email to let organizers play matchmaker for you.

Major omission…

I have heard from several people that I missed one very important member of the Central Manitoulin Outdoors Club trip last week. Chaperone, Scooter “Camp Vacuum” Leblanc made his presence known and protected Alex from black-flies.

A good sport is good for sports