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100 pictures of the 44th Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships: Part 1

Monica Galouon-Eta of Alberta-NWT won bronze in the under-16 women’s 200m. With Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador athletes unable to attend because of the pandemic, the 44th Legion-sponsored event still attracted 690 participants, some 255 of them thanks to local and provincial Legion sponsorship.
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
The Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships took place for the 44th time in August after a two-year, pandemic-imposed hiatus.

Six-hundred-and-ninety teenaged athletes participated over three days of events, including 255 Royal Canadian Legion-sponsored participants who more than held their own against elite club and independent competition from across the country. Among 52 clubs and unattached athletes, RCL teams swept the Top 3 positions in the medal count and placed five in the Top 10.

With Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador not participating for another year due to COVID-related issues, British Columbia/Yukon led all comers with 20 gold and 43 medals overall, followed by Alberta-Northwest Territories (16/36) and Quebec (8/26). Manitoba/Northwest Ontario placed fifth in the team count with 10 medals; Nova Scotia/Nunavut was eighth with eight, half of them gold.

Legion-sponsored teams took 129 of 248 medals awarded at the championships, the only truly national competition for pre-university track-and-field athletes in the country.

Track officials await the start of the final day of competition at the Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships. The weather in Sherbrooke, Que., held out until a downpour 40 minutes after the last event was completed.
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
Eleven event records were set. Aidan Turner of BC/Yukon broke four on the way to winning silver in the under-18 men’s decathlon, running 11.02 seconds in the 100 metres, leaping 7.04 metres in the long jump, clearing 4.2 metres in the pole vault and throwing 41.34 metres in discus. Both he and gold medalist Samuel Jeffrey from Athletics Niagara surpassed the event’s points record, with Jeffrey coming out on top amassing 6,519, just seven shy of the national mark.

Jake McEacheran of Alberta-NWT won gold in both shot put and discus, earning him the Jack Stenhouse Award as the top male Legion athlete of the competition.

Sofia Agudelo of Quebec earned the Leroy Washburn Award as the top female Legion athlete at the championships after taking golds in the under-16 women’s 80m hurdles, 200m hurdles and the 4x100m relay.

And Kelly Smith, a longtime supporter of Legion athletics, was presented with the President’s Award for his decades of service to the cause.

Each year, the championships commemorate an event in Canadian military history. This year it was the Dieppe Raid.

The event traces its roots to post-First World War efforts by Legion-affiliated veteran/coaches to mentor the sons and daughters of war dead in athletics.

The Royal Canadian Legion began a formal Olympic track-and-field training program in 1957, started producing technical manuals in 1963 and organized its first Canada-wide track-and-field meet in 1975. The National Youth Track and Field Championships have come to represent the RCL’s single largest monetary investment.

Each year, the championships commemorate an event in Canadian military history. This year, it was the disastrous 1942 raid on Dieppe, France. Legion-sponsored athletes stay an extra day, during which they attend educational sessions and take tours.

The championships and accompanying programs are the RCL’s most diverse effort, attracting a cross-section of young, up-and-coming athletes and exposing them not only to the Legion, its good works and Canada’s military past, but to each other.

It also represents an opportunity for young people to commit themselves to goals, to work, to dream, and to test themselves against the best. The benefits are boundless, regardless of their ultimate levels of success.

“It’s a good program for the athletes, but it’s also a good program for the Legion,” said Sandrine Charron, a Sherbrooke-area health co-ordinator who served as chair of the local organizing committee. She mustered some 200 volunteers and helped raise $60,000 in supporting cash, goods and services during the past year.

She said many local athletes had no idea what the Legion was or did until they got involved in its athletics development program. “Now they know what the Legion is and they can tell their friends and everyone.”

Multiple-medallist Sorcha Shiu of Alberta-NWT receives a congratulatory hug after winning the under-18 women’s 400m. Shiu also took gold in the 2000m and the 4x400m.
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
Aiden Turner of BC/Yukon dominated the throwing events in the under-18 men’s decathalon, winning the discus, javelin and shot, along with the 100m and the long jump. He set four event records en route to a silver medal.
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John Crook is the Ontario Legion’s long-time track & field chairman.
STEPHEN J. THORNE
Lowell Solmes of BC/Yukon walked away with gold in the under-18 men’s 3000m racewalk, clocking a 14:18.49, more than 22 seconds ahead of his nearest rival. Cole Coupal of the Durham Dragons TFC and Kethon Monger from the Baie-Comeau, Que., club took silver and bronze, respectively.
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Silver-medallist Arienne Birch, an independent from Ontario, stares down the bar after a successful jump in the under-18 women’s high jump.
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The family news service is hard at work.
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Divine Aniamaka of BC/Yukon leaped 14.79 metres to take gold in the under-18 men’s triple jump.
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
Jennessa Wolfe of Nova Scotia/Nunavut wins the under-18 women’s high jump in a jump-off with Arienne Birch, an independent from Ontario.
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Jennessa Wolfe of Nova Scotia/Nunavut celebrates her winning attempt in the under-18 women’s high jump. She defeated Arienne Birch, an independent from Ontario, in a jump-off.
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Flying high, Ashvin Balaramana of the United Tamil Sports Club in Scarborough, Ont., lays down a long jump in the under-18 men’s competition. Balaramana finished sixth.
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Madison Gordon of BC/Yukon won the under-18 women’s heptathalon, taking the 100m hurdles (shown), high jump and long jump in the process. She notched 4,398 points.
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A track official surveys the scene on opening day.
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
Multiple gold-medallist Dominik Bahadur of Laurel Creek Track & Field Club in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., won the under-16 men’s 200m in a time of 23.16s. Bahadur also won gold in the 100 and 200m hurdles.
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Ashley Johnson (right) of Mississauga TFC receives a congratulatory hug from a teammate after winning the under-16 women’s 100m in 12.24s.
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Kendyl Dziadyk of Saskatchewan (left) and Mary Rosina Pierre of Quebec go head-to-head in the preliminaries of the under-18 women’s 100m hurdles. Pierre finished the competition with a bronze; Dziadyk finished fifth.
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
Ottawa Lions TFC placed three hurdlers in the Top 6 in the 100m under-16 event, including Mason Brennan.
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
Ryan Lofstrom of BC/Yukon and Francis Hinnah of London Western TFC round the turn into the homestretch of the under-16 men’s 300m. Lofstrom took gold in 36.48, edging Hinnah by 2/100s.
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Tatiana Reyes of Alberta-NWT won gold in the under-16 women’s 300m while Gabriella Ruggeri of Etobicoke Huskies-Striders TFC took silver and Mariah Williams of Flying Angels Academy (left) won bronze.
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Sayanthan Arulrajan of Scarborough, Ont.’s United Tamil Sports Club leaped 6.52 metres to clinch gold in the under-18 men’s long jump. The club finished 10th in the medal standings, with four gold and two bronze.
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Gabriel Genest and a coach head to the pole vault pit, where the Quebec athlete cleared 3.50 metres to take under-16 gold.
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
Pishon Haughton of BC/Yukon took gold in the under-18 men’s 400m in 48.24. He also anchored the team’s 4×400 gold-medal run and won bronze in the 4×100 and the 200m.
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Samuel Jeffery of Athletics Niagara won the 1500m race en route to taking gold in the under-18 men’s decathalon with a meet-record 6,519 points, just seven points shy of the national youth best, set by Jasper Schiedel in 2015. Jeffery also won the decathalon’s 400 and 1500m races, edging out BC/Yukon’s Aidan Turner by just 306 points in the final tally.
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Local favourite Charles Gendron-Jette, running next to race winner Yemane Mulugeta, finished third in the under-16 men’s 2000m steeplechase, earning one of two bronzes for Club d’athlétisme de Sherbrooke.
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Celebration and disappointment at the end of the meet’s final event, the under-18 men’s 4x400m relay, won by the team from BC/Yukon (foreground).
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
Raiya Matonovich of BC/Yukon flashes the thumbs-up after winning the women’s under-16 800m. BC/Yukon topped the medal count with 43, including 20 gold. Alberta-NWT took 36 medals (16 gold) while Quebec won 26 (8).
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Alberta-NWT anchor Tatiana Reyes takes the baton from Paige Zinger on the final leg of the under-16 women’s 4x100m. The team won silver.
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Kyla Martin of Ontario’s South Simcoe Dufferin Track & Field Club took gold in the women’s under-18 800m (pictured), as well as silver in the 1500m.
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Phoebe Onapajo of Flying Angels Academy lets fly in the under-16 women’s shot put.
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Massimo Ardizzoni of BC/Yukon hands off the baton to anchor Noah Louwerse en route to a gold medal in the under-16 men’s 1600m sprint medley.
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Competitors walk the track before the under-16 men’s 1200m.
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Noah Louwerse of BC/Yukon surges at the finish to edge Brady Keller of Alberta-NWT in the under-16 men’s 1200m.
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Fifth place finisher Makenna Self of BC/Yukon (left) congratulates gold medallist Ashley Johnson of Mississauga Track & Field Club after the women’s under-16 200m final. Johnson ran a 24.78 to top off her gold medal-winning 12.24 in the 100m.
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Members of the Legion team from New Brunswick pause for a picture.
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Dianna Proctor of Alberta/NWT takes the under-18 women’s 200m in 24.38s. Proctor also won gold in the 100m and the 4x400m relay.
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Kalman Chyz of Ontario’s U Windsor Athletic Club won the under-18 men’s javelin with a throw of 57.77m.
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Ashley Johnson of Mississauga TFC (12.24s), Makenna Self of BC/Yukon and Tatiana Reyes of Alberta-NWT finished 1-2-3 in the under-16 women’s 100m.
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Bernardo Sada of BC/Yukon trailed teammate Samuel May, reflected in his sunglasses, the entire race until the final 100 metres, when he overtook him to win gold in the under-16 men’s 1500m steeplechase.
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Kaleb Kennedy of Ontario’s Thorold Elite Track Club heaves the spear in the under-18 men’s javelin. He finished fourth with a throw of 53.06m.
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Isaiah Luke of the GTA’s Flying Angels Academy won the under-18 men’s 100m in 10.85s.
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Mackenzie Hack of BC/Yukon and Louise Stonham of the Ottawa Lions Track & Field Club finished 2-3 in the women’s under-18 women’s 2000m steeplechase, one of the highlight events of the championships. Sorcha Shiu of Alberta-NWT won the gold.
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Maella Hodgson of BC/Yukon wins the under-18 women’s 1500m in a meet record 4:23 flat.
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A teammate gives Maella Hodgson of BC/Yukon a hug after the 1500m runner set a new under-18 women’s meet record of 4:23.00.
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
With the heat index in the 40s, Matteo Padoin-Castillo of the Ottawa Lions struggles on the last 200 metres of the 2000m under-18 men’s steeplechase. He collapsed a few metres down the track.
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
Kaden Kingsmith of Alberta-NWT won the under-18 men’s 1500m (shown) and 3000m, and took bronze in the 800m.
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
Bronze medallist Arriana Lawrence of Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario stays loose before taking a turn in the under-18 women’s long jump.
Stephen J Thorne/Legion Magazine 2022 All Rights Reserved
Asia Phillips of the GTA’s Flying Angels Academy won the under-18 women’s long jump with a 5.74m leap and the triple jump (pictured) with a 12.57.
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Dianna Proctor of Alberta-NWT has the edge on Amelia Kristen of BC/Yukon as they prepare to make the first baton pass in the under-18 women’s 4×400 relay. The teams finished the race how they started — 1-2, respectively.
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Amelia Kristen hands off the baton to BC-Yukon teammate Maya Baechler after the first leg of the under-18 women’s 4x400m relay. BC/Yukon took silver.
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Alexandra Eremenko of Alberta-NWT embraces anchor Sorcha Shiu after they won the under-18 women’s 4×400 at the Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships in Sherbrooke. Que.
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Bronze medallist Alec Brent of B.C.’s Burnaby Striders Track & Field clears the bar in the under-18 men’s high jump.
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Philippe Lapointe of le Club d’athlétisme Corsaire-Chaparral in Boisbriand, Que., takes a header in the 4x400m under-16 men’s relay after handing off the baton to teammate Xavier Portugais at the Legion National Track and Field Championships in Sherbrooke on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022.
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Preliminaries in the under-18 men’s 100m are off and running.
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Will Batley of the Ottawa Lions TFC wins the under-16 men’s 100m in 11:39s.
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Athletes put a face on the under-16 shot put.
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