Little Current public school repeats as Island elementary school track and field champs!

Island champs! Several members of the Little Current Public School team that won the annual Manitoulin Island elementary track and field championship pose with the trophy.

GORE BAY—Little Current Public School (LCPS) has repeated as the Manitoulin Island elementary school track and field champions!

Dan Smith, one of the organizers of the annual competition, presented the Island championship trophy to a group of LCPS students at the award ceremonies after the two-day competition (Thursday and Friday of last week). “LCPS had only been leading by five points heading into today (the running events held Friday). Incredibly they ended up with a total of 203 points.” Charles C. McLean Public School (Gore Bay) placed second with 177.5 points, with Central Manitoulin Public School (Mindemoya) third with 119.5 points, Wasse-Abin (Wiikwemkoong) fourth with 108.5 points, Assiginack Public School (Manitowaning) fifth with 56.5 points and Lakeview (M’Chigeeng) sixth with 55 points.

“LCPS was also the winner of the most recent Island championship in 2019,” said Mr. Smith. “They have great athletes and showed great sportsmanship.”

The team per capita trophy went to C.C. McLean, based on the total of points a school accumulates in the competition divided by the number of students in a school. C.C. McLean took top spot with a per student average of 1.9 points per student. Finishing second was LCPS with a per student average of .76 points, and CMPS third with .7 points per student. Assiginack was fourth (.57), Lakeview fifth (.47 points per student) and Wasse-Abin had .29 points per student.

Individually, in the girls’ nine-year-old division, Breeze Osawamick of Wasse-Abin was first with a perfect score of 12 (having finished first in all four of her events) to take the gold medal. Sydney Cunningham of C.C. McLean won the silver medal with eight points, while there was a tie for third place with Ella King of LCPS and Sarah Joyce of C.C. McLean each winning a bronze medal with six points.

In the boys’ age nine division, Boston Abotossaway of LCPS was first with 10 points, with Evander Shawana of Wasse-Abin second with nine points, and Simon Fessenden of LCPS third with six points.

Rylee Williamson of C.C. McLean led the way in the 10-year-old-girls’ category with nine points, one point better than Nova Debassige of CMPS, in second. There was a two-way tie for third place with Lilly Beaudry of Wasse-Abin and Myla Edralin of LCPS each with seven points.

Over on the boys’ side, two C.C. McLean athletes won gold and silver, with David Joyce finishing on top with 11 points and Finn Flanagan with 10 points. Casey Bowerman of LCPS won the bronze medal with seven points.

Arabella Otosquaiob of Assiginack had a perfect score of 12 points to take the gold medal in the 11-year-old girls’ category. Corey Brown of CMPS and Brynn Best of C.C. McLean finished in a second-place tie, with seven points each. There was also a two-way tie for third place with Joey Ruyter of C.C. McLean and Rowyn Kasunich of Lakeview with six points each. In the boys’ division, Ryan Carter and Roen Deschenes, both of LCPS, tied for first place with 11 points each, with Kobe Mayers and Koda Peltier, each  of Wasse-Abin, finishing second and third with 10 and seven points, respectively.

The 12-year-old girls’ division saw Charmaine Webkamigad of LCPS and Lourdes Taukei of Lakeview tying for the gold medal with 11 points each. Damara Wassegijig of Lakeview was second with nine points, while the bronze medal was won by Samantha MacKenzie of CMPS with six points.

Jack Bridgeman of CMPS had a perfect score of 12 points to take the gold medal, with Jonah Balfe of CMPS second with 10 points and Landen Maloney of LCPS third with nine points.

In the girls’ 13-year-old category, Mya Balfe of CMPS had a perfect score of 12 points to take the gold medal. Winning the silver medal was Fia Flanagan of C.C. McLean with 11 points, while there was a two-way tie for third place with Ava Corbiere of CMPS and Madison McCarville of Assiginack both garnering seven points.

In the boys’ 13-year-old category, Ethan Witty of C.C. McLean won the gold medal with 10 points,  Kohyn Eshkawkogan of LCPS won the silver medal with nine points, and Wyatt Williamson-Wright of C.C. McLean finished third with eight points.

Mr. Smith thanked all the officials, volunteers, coaches and athletes for taking part in the 110 different events over two days.

Tim Lockeyer of LCPS said, “for the past 27 years, I have worked with Mr. Smith at this event. He is retiring at the end of this year. I don’t think anyone realizes the amount of work he has put into this, preparing the track, putting the lines down, then having it rain, and starting this all over again. It has been a real pleasure working with you all these years. Hopefully, you will be back again next year to help out. Congratulations Dan.”

A special presentation was made to Mr. Smith by Amanda James, a former student and athlete of his at C.C. McLean, a red t-shirt signed by the athletes with the inscription “Forever our favourite coach, Mr. Smith.”  

“I would like to thank all of the athletes, coaches, volunteers and parents for supporting the students, and each other. The athletes are the reason we are here, for you,” said Mr. Smith. “As students, you are with us for 10 years. We are your parents, guardians and supporters at school.”

Mr. Smith talked about the importance of sportsmanship shown by the athletes, getting choked up as he told the story of Grayson Case of LCPS letting his team-mate Arron Townsend, who was cramping up at the end of a 400-metre race, win so the latter could garner his first place finish in the race. 

There were two records broken in the competition. One new record was set by Ethan Ense of Lakeview, in the boys’ 12-year-old division in the shotput. He set the new record of 9.87 metres, breaking the old record, set in 2014 of 9.64 metres.

“It is remarkable to me, that a 17- year-old record was broken in the high jump event,” said Mr. Smith. He pointed out a jump of 1.52 metres is a mark that typically high school jumpers will attain at the provincial championships. Jack Bridgeman of CMPS set the new record of 1.58 metres.