Twin meets highlight Track and Field this week

By Terrance Gavan

I’m constantly amazed by the athletes at Hal High.

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John Rae puts the shot getting ready for Kawartha meet. Photo by Gav

And not just because of their work ethic, acumen and talent. No. I speak directly to their long history of multi-tasking.

And their seemingly innate ability to juggle a plethora of sports while maintaining their grades and standings in the halls of academe at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School.

I’m staring at the track last Tuesday afternoon and I recognize most of student athletes preparing very hard for the Kawartha 2011 track and field meet.

Here’s the thing. Most of the athletes play at least one other sport and the greater majority on the track and in the field and in the jumping pit letter in two or three other sports.

It brings me back to a seminar I was at last Saturday for a start-up school here in Haliburton that stresses “a healthy mind in a healthy body.”

Certainly it brings me back to my own high school days at St. Pius X in Ottawa where I spent most of my five years on the pitch, in the pool, and in the gym.

The student athletes at Hal High deserve a huge amount of credit for filling spots on rosters. When a team is in need, students step in. Over the past two seasons some brave young women stepped in to fill roles on the senior hoops team. A snowboard team was started by student requests. This year we witnessed the first foray into girls’ competitive ice hockey.

Now? We’re into track season and Hal High will again field a full slate of athletes for the Kawartha meet which goes today in Peterborough.

Bruce Griffith is in a new role as head coach of the team and he welcomes the input of Brett Caputo and returning retired HHSS teacher Walt Tose.

“I’m really happy that Mr. Tose could come out and help us out with the throwers this year,” says Griffith. “I’m on a learning curve and I really appreciate that Mr. Tose can step in and help the throwers.”

Griffith and the team just returned from a track meet in Bracebridge. A relay event. “We did really well, the throwers (where the throwers get to run in a 4X100 fun race) set a meet record that we previously held,” said Griffith. “We had a lot of firsts and seconds so I think we’re ready for the Kawartha’s.”

Track and field will be bringing in excess of 50 athletes to the meet, again a wonderful slate of athletes.

Multi-task, multi-sport, runners, leapers and throwers are competing today with the top eight moving on to COSSA regionals in Belleville next week.

The COSSA meet goes Thursday, May 19 and Griffith is expecting 30 or more athletes to move on. After COSSA they’ll be moving on to Eastern Regionals in Belleville and the Ontario Provincial (OFSAA) is scheduled for June 2-4 in Sudbury.

Elementary Meet – Saturday May 14 – Hal High Track

Teresa Bird and Russ Duhaime have been charged with the organization of the elementary school track meet this year.

It features students from Archie Stouffer, Wilberforce, Cardiff, JD Hodgson and Stuart Baker.

Duhaime says that the logistics are pretty mind-numbing, but he and Bird are hoping that the dedicated cadre of volunteers will prompt “cool running” of the annual meet.

Over the past several years the meet has been held mid-week and Hal High track athletes were tasked to handle the marshaling of most of the events.

“We don’t have access to that core of volunteers,” says Duhaime. “We’re hoping that the parents, teachers and volunteers can handle the load on Saturday.

“We’re expecting anywhere from 300 to 500 athletes and we’re hoping for some good weather.”

The weather is expected to cooperate with a 30 percent chance of scattered showers on Saturday.

The meet starts at 9:30 am and will probably wrap at 3:330 to 4 pm.

The meet was originally started by Tose and another long time Hal High coach – now retired – Paul Morrisette.

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