By Larry Moko
Mark Skerl, of St. Clare of Assisi, and Lachlan Perigord, of St. Augustine, are friends. And they now also happen to be record-holders.
During the Catholic Youth Organization all-city track and field championships at Mohawk Sports Park Friday, the pair broke long-standing Hamilton elementary school records.
Skerl ran the senior boys’ 200 metres in 55.47 seconds, shattering the former mark of 56.22 set in 1991 by Sean Davidson of St. Teresa.
As for Perigord, he finished first in the open boys’ 800m (2:13.03). And that bettered a record that had stood since 2002 when Chris Romain of St. Jerome completed the event in 2:14.30.
When asked if he was going for the record, Skerl said: “No. I was just trying to beat my friend Lach (the second-place finisher). He broke the record for the 800. I knew he was going to be my biggest competition.”
The two were previously on the same basketball team.
Skerl was in two other events, winning both. He finished first in the long jump, with a leap of 5.36 metres, and he took top honours in the 200m (25.3).
“It was a very good day,” he said.
A Grade 8 student, the St. Clare Cougars standout will soon be headed to Kaunas Lithuania to compete at the July 4-9 International Children’s Games. “I got invited for track,” Skerl said. “I’ll be running against the whole world (select 12-15 year olds).
Skerl also excelled last winter at the Hamilton Indoor Games at FirstOntario Centre, winning three of his four events.
“He’s a good kid …one of those role-model boys,” said Carla Underhill, meet director and program director of Crusader Athletics. “I’ve been doing my job for 17 years, so I’ve watched him come up through the program and compete. He’s phenomenal in every sport he plays. He shows good sportsmanship and he’s a team player.”
About 300 participants from almost 50 Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic elementary schools took part in the annual competition. It was the culmination of four days of action at Mohawk – Tuesday involved 21 Division III schools, Wednesday had 16 Division II schools and 16 Division I schools gathered together Thursday. From those separate meets, the cream of the crop qualified for the All-City finals.
“I look forward to it,” Underwood said of the format. “I’ve seen the top athletes compete throughout the week. Then, watching them go against each other, it’s exciting.”
Source: Marnie Jadon