Athlétisme Sud-Est/Athletics South-East Athletics Association (ASEA) recorded its best ever warm up track and field meet Saturday at Stade Moncton 2010 Stadium. A total of 246 participants competed in 515 events. "On all counts, we lived up to the honour and expectations as the Canadian IAAF site to celebrate world athletics day," said Athletics New Brunswick's technical director Gabriel LeBlanc. "We saw a 50 per cent increase in participation from our previous spring meet plus the performances were outstanding with no less than six new provincial records being broken."
Meet director Peter Stuart, who also serves as ASEA's head coach, said athletes from all over the Maritimes as well as Ontario and Quebec competed. "We are finding many athletes are being drawn to our programs as they discover the benefits track and field brings to their development," Stuart said. "As well it offers outstanding opportunities to travel and compete in different regions of the country and this perhaps more than any other sports."
The stadium's Mondo track, the fastest in the world, lived up to its billing. One of the highlights was the 1,500 metre race with Université de Moncton athlete of the year Jean-Marc Doiron defeating Canadian world junior team member Ryan Cassidy by 0.17 seconds, in a time of 3:58.30 a personal best. Right behind in third place at 3:59.15 was 16-year-old Nick MacMackin of Saint John, whose time met the qualification standards for the 2011 Canadian team to this summer's world's youth championships in Lille, France.
Another young upstart was 13-year-old Moncton sprinter Nicholas Maclean of ASEA, who improved his own provincial records in the 80m (11.3 seconds) and the 150m (20.28). Veronica Coombes, one of the youngest and brightest wheelchair athletes from Moncton, also bettered her provincial record with a time of 41.58 in the 200m T54 bantam as did James Brace in the 400m T54 senior at 1:10.33.
"The quality and the diversity of our programs at ASEA are certainly showing," Stuart said. "Our local athletes, whether they are able-body, para, or visually-impaired, are developing smartly and much of the credit goes to our dedicated team of 15 coaches. They are doing an incredible job. We are on track to produce top national athletes."
Other provincial records broken were by Marilyne Nowlan (Club Elite) in the 80m (10.85 seconds) and the 150m (19.81) as well as Chelsey Hall (Fredericton Fast Tracks) in the 1,200m Benjamin class (3:53.35).
Notable results by local athletes include:
At the elementary school level: Jeremie Gervais (Anna Malenfant) 1st 60m, 600m, long jump; Trent Daigle (Bessborough) 2nd 600m, long jump, shot put.
At the middle school level: Selina Roberts (ASEA) 1st 800m; Dominique Steeves (Carrefour l'Acadie) 1st high jump; Isabelle Harrigan 1st shot put; Christelle Frenette (Carrfour l'Acadie) 2nd at 80m, 150m, shot put; Valerie Belliveau (Carrefour l'Acadie) 2nd at 80m, 1,200m; Sébastien LeBlanc (Carrefour l'Acadie) 2nd 80m, high jump; Austin Roberts (ASEA) 2nd 800m, 1,200m; Ryan Gamblin (Bessborough) 1st at shot put.
At junior high school: Shawna McKay (Harrison Trimble) 2nd 100m, 200m; Monica LeBlanc (Mathieu Martin) 2nd long jump; Yannick Lepage 2nd 1,500m, Jake Bradley (Riverview High) 2nd high jump; Jean-Dennis Bourque 1st shot put; Ludovic Hivon-St-Arnaud 2nd 200m and 800m;
At senior high school level:
Aaron LeBlanc (Mathieu Martin) 1st shot put; Ben Grass (Riverview) 2nd shot put; Sarah Taplin (Moncton High) 1st long jump;
In the Open category: Momodou Kujabi (ASEA) 1st in the 100m; Chris Robertson (ASEA) 1st high jump; Pierre Landry (ASEA) 1st long jump; Pascal Cyr (ASEA) 1st shot put;
At the Para-Olympic level: James Brace (ASEA) 1st at each of 100m/200m/400m; Veronica Coombs (ASEA) 1st at 100m/200m/400m; Joey Boudreau (ASEA) 1st discus /javelin and Canadian Para team member hopeful, Shayne Dobson 1st in the 800m and 1,500m T-37 class
Athletes also enjoyed the day with the sponsorship support of the local dairy producers group with complimentary milk products for everyone. “They are a natural sponsor for us and vice versa”, adds Peter Stuart, “the health and recovery benefits of chocolate milk are well known. It was great to have their support”.