It was a very successful weekend for the North Central District at the 2023 SHSAA Track and Field provincial meet in Saskatoon on Jun. 2-3.
In high school track and field provincials, athletes compete under the district banner rather than for their individual school like at the district meet.
As a result, athletes from St. Mary and Carlton and other North Central district schools combined forces to make up a single team.
St. Mary Marauder track and field head coach Nathan Noble says he was proud of how his team did at such a large meet.
“They did well. They were wide eyed when they got to the track the first day. Our district meets aren’t very big. There’s only maybe a couple of hundred athletes. There’s about 1400 athletes at provincials. The awe of all the athletes was there. But when they got into competing, I thought they did well. We had lots of PBs, and they might not have turned into the top five finishers, but they were doing as well or better than they did at districts. So, we made sure they knew that that was an important accomplishment.”
With athletes from all over the district competing under the same banner, it was a fairly common sight to see athletes supporting their teammates, even if they didn’t go to the same school.
Noble says it was a unique experience that not every high school sport gets to be a part of.
“It showed up in something like a relay race where you’re actually competing with kids from Carlton or Big River or Shellbrook all together on the same team. Those kids had a blast. They hung out, watched each other at other events. They got to know each other outside of their regular team sports where they might compete again. I think they built some new friendships there. And it was awesome. It was good to see. I thought our relay teams, every one of them made a final and that was a really good accomplishment for a district to have six relay teams in final.”
For the Carlton Crusaders, there was plenty of success on the track at the provincial meet. Carlton Crusader head coach Patricia Taylor says she saw a lot of good things.
“The majority of the kids that went out there did really well. We had lots of top eight ribbon finishers and tons of personal bests, which ultimately is what we are really hoping for the kids to be able to go out there and get a (personal) best. So, there is a lot of excitement around that for sure.”
Stryker Zablocki took home three medals for Carlton, earning gold in the 100m Junior Girls with a time of 12.13 seconds, gold in the Junior Girls 200m with a time of 25.49 seconds and a bronze medal as part of the Junior Girls 4x100m with a time of 51.58 seconds.
Taylor says Zablocki’s work ethic makes her a top athlete on the track.
“I think Stryker’s drive and determination ultimately are her superpower. She’s an incredible all-around athlete. She obviously does great in track, but it’s not even her (main) sport. She’s an excellent hockey player. That speed and agility that comes from hockey really helps her. We’re happy when we can get her off the ice.”