By Larry Moko
Time flies. And so do the relay teams from Hamilton’s St. Mary Catholic Secondary School.
Veteran St. Mary Crusaders coach Brian Grolla was reminded of the link between the two while inside the school recently.
“In 2002, St. Mary won OFSAA (their 400m junior girls’ relay team) in a time of 49.70,” Grolla said. “I showed Isabella Bauman the picture of them on the wall. She said ‘wow, we weren’t even born yet.’”
Bauman – along with Rachel Watson, Olivia Stock and Taryn Millar – are members of St. Mary’s current 4x100m junior girls’ relay team that finished first at the South Regional high school track and field championships in Brampton Friday. Their time was 50.82 seconds.
The top four finishers in each event at the two-day competition qualify for the OFSAA championships June 7-9 at York University.
“I personally think they can be medallists at OFSAA,” Grolla said.
St. Mary also punched its ticket to OFSAA by placing fourth in the Open girls’ 4x400m relays (4:10.35). That foursome was comprised of Bailey Bovell, Nia Ebos, Millar and Watson.
In addition, a St. Mary midget boys’ 4x100m relay team had the fourth fastest time and would have advanced to provincials but was disqualified.
Grolla and fellow St. Mary track and field coach Rob Obrovac say it’s amazing that a school of only 900 students is sending seven athletes to the provincial high school meet.
Bauman also excelled individually in the midget division. On Day 2 of South Regionals she came third in both the 800m (2:29.11) and 300m hurdles (48.62). A day earlier, she placed third in the 400 metres (1:00.97).
For OFSAA, however, she plans to drop the 800m.
“I’m really happy about how I did these last few days,” said Bauman, a Grade 9 student who has competed for Hamilton Olympic Club for two years. “It was hard making a decision about which ones I will actually do at OFSAA.
“I don’t expect to do super well, but I really hope I can get PBs.”
Watson was also an individual winner in the junior 300m hurdles. Her time was a personal best 45.76. Said Grolla: “Today was a real uplifting run for Rachel. She needed that after yesterday when she was fifth in the 80m hurdles by 3/100ths of a second. She got out-leaned.”
The most outstanding male performer at the meet from the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association was Mark Skerl of the Cardinal Newman Cardinals. He capped his involvement with a first-place finish in the midget 300m hurdles (40.85). On opening day, he picked up victories in the long jump (6.14m) and the 100m hurdles (14.67).
A double winner was Nifaiya Robinson of the Cathedral Gaels who took the junior boys’ 200m final in 22.18 after winning the 400m in 51.21.
Other HWCAA athletes advancing to OFSAA on Day 2 were: Jaden Mullings, Bishop Tonnos Titans, second, midget girls’ high jump, 1.58m; Tristan Malkowski, Bishop Ryan Celtics, second, junior boys’ long jump, 6.17; St. Thomas More Knights senior boys’ 4x100m relay team, second, 43.32; St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves midget boys’ 4x100m relay team, fourth, 48.40; Darius Bell, St. Thomas More, fourth, junior boys’ shot put, 13.67; Lachlan Perigord, St. Mary Crusaders, third, midget boys’ 800m, 2:03.83; Tiago Brum, Bishop Tonnos Titans, lone entrant, boys’ visually impaired 800m, 2:32.49; Ryan Sorley, Bishop Ryan Celtics, fourth, boys’ intellectually impaired 800m, 2:47.79.
Source: Marnie Jadon