Three Oaks runner Ryan Merritt.
©Guardian photo by Jason Malloy
Ryan Merritt pumped his fist in the air as he crossed the finish line first Saturday at the Prince Edward Island School Athletic Association track and field championship.
“I was excited because I wasn’t expecting to win,” he said moments after winning the senior boys’ 1,500-metre run title.
The Grade 11 student at Three Oaks Senior High had been dealing with an injury all week and wasn’t feeling his best Saturday morning. Once he hit the track, it was a matter of running his race.
“I knew I was going to have to sit back in this race if I was going to take it,” he said. “I just thought stay calm, I’ll have my push at the end and see what I’ve got.”
Merritt said his game plan was to sit behind the leader and let them deal with the wind early in the race. Heading into the final lap, Merritt was second, but once he made his move, nobody would catch him. He finished in 4:23.88, ahead of Colonel Gray’s Michael Rogers (4:29.28) and Charlottetown Rural’s Martin Sobey (4:35.16).
Merritt also won the 800 metre in 2:10.20 and finished second in the 3,000 to Sobey.
Charlottetown Rural’s Niki Triantafillou and Morell’s Bailey Smith hugged after they finished the senior girls’ 100-metre dash. Triantafillou won the race in 13.6 while Smith, running in the lane to Triantafillou’s left, stopped the clock in 13.8 to finish second.
“We’ve been training together for a while. We always push each other,” Triantafillou said of her Charlottetown Islanders club teammate. “You really need it. It helps you so much.”
Triantafillou, a Grade 12 student from Mermaid, said it felt great to finish first, but she knew her friend was dealing with an injury. Smith won the 200 metres in 27.3 over Bluefield’s Bailey Simpson (27.9).
Janelle Perry jumped out to an early lead en route to capturing the 1,200-metre bantam girls’ race.
“I just kept going and tried to stay ahead because I knew if they got ahead I probably wouldn’t catch up,” she said.
The Grade 8 student
at Hernewood Intermediate School said it was rewarding to win particularly because she has been dealing with two bad ankles.
u 4x400 metres — Colonel Gray in 3:50.44 beating their own record set last year of 3:52.70.
u 3,000 metres — Colonel Gray’s Danielle Younker in 11:36.28 beating Chelsey Mackenzie’s time of 11:50.50 in 2005.
u Banners – Colonel Gray won all four high school banners.