A few records were broken at the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association track and field meet at CaraCo Home Field on Thursday.
But one athlete, in her first high school track and field competition, broke the record four times in a single event.
Lexi Sotiriadis, a Grade 9 student at Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute, demolished the existing midget girls pole vault record of 2.10 metres with successful jumps of 2.12, 2.15, 2.20 and finally 2.25.
“I surprised myself and I think I overachieved,” Sotiriadis, 15, said after the competition.
A former gymnast, she said she enjoys the single sports.
“This kind of relates very similar to gymnastics,” she said. “I can get into my own zone and focus. I don’t have to worry about beside me or around me. I’m not a team sport person. I like to rely on myself to do my best.”
“I expected to hopefully break the record, but doing it three times over is exciting. I came in hoping to do well. I knew there was a record and I could potentially break it if I jumped what I’ve done in training.
“I’m happy and surprised I did as well as I did today.”
Sotiriadis is confident going into her next competition, the Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association championships next week in Brockville.
“I’m really hoping to beat my personal best again and focus on technique and getting better because I’m hoping to do this all through all four years of high school,” she said.
She also competed in the midget girls triple jump later in the day.
Approximately 375 athletes took part in Day 2 of the track meet under sunny skies but unseasonably cool temperatures on Thursday, the second day of KASSAA competition at the west-end track.
Another Kingston Blues athlete who qualified for Brockville next week did so by facing no competition. Senior high jumper Anthony Bianchet, with no one else in field, jump 1.6 metres for the win.
He said the benefits of being the only competitor in an event is that you have a lot of time to prepare to compete and have lots of room to warm up.
The downside, he said, was that no other athlete was there to push him to do better.
“I enjoy being with other people more. It’s kind of a friendly competition and you compete against them,” he said. “They force you to do better. Obviously you want to qualify, you have to beat someone, it’s good motivation.”
He said he could have been more motivated had he had some competition.
“I want to say I was a lot less focused. I had a couple friends here and was just talking to them between jumps. Usually you’re nervous, watching other people go, and it was definitely different this time.”
One of the track meet conveners, Ben Moser of Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake, said the meet attracted about the same number of athletes as the past few years but lower numbers than a decade ago.
Some races and events had only three or four competitors or, like Bianchet’s high jump, one.
Moser said that a lack of qualified high jump coaches, as well as the high jump no longer taking place in public school, has led to the numbers of competitors being down.
“It’s harder to find certified high jump coaches at schools,” he said.
In other events, Miles Brackenbury of KC, who is committed to the Queen’s University cross-country team next fall, won the 2,000-metre open steeplechase and the senior boys 3,000 metres.
Caleb Podgers of the Frontenac Falcons and Bryson Gilpin of the Sydenham Golden Eagles each broke the midget boys 300-metre hurdles record on Wednesday.
Podgers ran the event in 42.74 seconds while Gilpin finished second in 43.46. The previous record was 43.80, set in 2007 by Matt Fouzie of Sydenham.
In competition Wednesday afternoon, Cameron Bruce of Frontenac won the senior boys 1,500 metres in four minutes 28.7 seconds, finishing less than four seconds ahead of Joey Tripp of the Regiopolis-Notre Dame Panthers. Bruce also won the 800 metres in a time of two minutes, 9.72 seconds on Thursday.
Dylan Thomason of the Holy Cross Crusaders finished only 27/100th of a second off a 15-year-old record in the senior boys 200 metres.
Also on Wednesday afternoon, Anna Workman of KC edged teammate Mackenzie Campbell by .33 of a second to win the senior girls 1,500 metres in 5:04.72.
Workman also won two races on Thursday; the 800 metres in 2:18.62 and 400 metres in 100.15.