On the right track

Zach Lomsnes of Big River thunders down the track during the final lap of the Senior Boys Quadathlon 800m race. Lomsnes was one of an estimated 1,425 athletes who competed at provincials in Prince Albert on June 1-2. (Jason Kerr/Daily Herald)

Prior to 2018, it was more than a decade since Prince Albert last hosted the Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association provincial track and field championships.

If organizers have their way, the next wait won’t be nearly as long.

The province’s top high school athletes arrived in Prince Albert on June 1-2 for the first time since 2008. Despite a few logistical challenges brought on by the weather, North Central District President Rylan Michalchuk said the event went as smoothly as possible.

“It was a great weekend for us to showcase not only our facility, but all the staff and student volunteers in our district and how much they love sports,” Michalchuk said.

Strong support from the city and business community during the meet means it’s even more likely the event will be back sooner rather than later. The ability to use the Art Hauser Centre during the rain-soaked weekend helped reduce problems caused by the weather, as did city repairs made to Harry Jerome Track earlier this year.

“That was a concern in previous years, but it held up in the weather,” Michalchuk said.

“The repairs were done and it was painted, so it looked really good and it was competition ready. That was a key part, so we hope to host again in the near future.”

Roughly 1,425 athletes arrived in Prince Albert for the provincial championships. When coaches, chaperones and parents are included in that number, it jumps to around 3,000 visitors for the weekend.

Michalchuk said it was great to watch the province’s top high school athletes compete, and he hopes it won’t be another 10 years before it happens again.

“Providing these opportunities for high school athletes is something we’re really proud to showcase,” he said.

“To bring a big event like that to our community is a big thing.”