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Gryphons Welcome Star Studded Class To Their Track And "Field Of Dreams"

Published by
GuelphRunning   Jun 9th 2012, 12:08am

Gryphons Welcome Star Studded Class To Their Track And "Field Of Dreams"

University of Guelph release - used with permission

Gryphon track and field coach Dave Scott-Thomas must have felt a bit like Ray Kinsella as he walked around the University of Guelph campus, a voice whispering to him “if you build it, he (they) will come.” So build it Scott-Thomas did and fresh off the heals of the wildly successful Guelph Track Project and with the school set to open a brand new fieldhouse in the coming weeks, come the athletes are....to the tune of 34 recruits joining the Gryphon Cross Country and Track and Field programs.

Coming off their second straight year of sweeping the CIS in cross country and finishing as runners-up for both men and women at the track and field championships, Scott-Thomas believes this will be the class that brings the Track and Field national titles back to Guelph and ensures the CIS Cross Country trophies maintain their residency. The Gryphon men have won the last six and the women the last seven cross-country titles in a row.

In what can only be described as the school’s deepest and most balanced recruiting class, the Gryphons welcome All-Canadian level talent in every event group, many of whom will be looked upon to make an immediate impact.

Headlining the class is previously announced four-time Ontario High School Champion Yves Sikubwabo. Sikubwabo will be joined by the Outstanding Male Performer of the BC High School Championship, Christian Gravel, Canadian Junior Champion thrower Kevin Bowman, BC High School Champion long jumper Konrad Piaseczny, Manitoba Pole Vault Record Holder Samantha Allegro, top Quebec hurdler Vivian Stavrakos, and top ranked Ontario jumpers Brandon Choghri, Matt Fontanna and Mitchell Torres.

Sikubwabo and Gravel are joined in the incoming distance corps by top 800 metre runners Christopher Hutton and Sebastian Saville. Saville and Hutton both have medalled at the Ontario high school championships and will be looking to challenge for positions on the Gryphons 4 x 800 metre relay and 600/1000 metre event. BC bronze medalist Katrina Allison leads the women’s distance group, which also features top ranked Ontario 3000 metre runner Madeline Yungblut and former OFSAA medalist Alanah MacDonald.

Bowman incredibly won the Canadian Junior (under 20) Hammer title at the age of 17. He holds three Ontario youth records in the weight throw. Joining one of the strongest throws group in the country led by CIS Field MVP Tim Hendry, Bowman and fellow newcomers Jared Skeath and Zach Mallough will look to continue the Gryphons' legacy as a throws power.

The area of greatest improvement will no doubt come in the jumps. Piaseczny joins the Gryphons as one of the top multieventers in the country, having finished second at the Canadian Youth Championships last year in the Octathlon. Torres also has the ability to compete in the multi events and has shown exceptional potential in the high jump. Versatile Anthony Broeders has also been ranked in the top ten provincially in both the long jump and high jump and will be another name to watch in the coming years. Choghri and Fontanna both join the Gryphons as potential CIS qualifiers in the triple jump, joining All-Canadian Pat Dufresne and CIS qualifier Chris Lo. Both also excel at the long jump giving the Gryphons a quartet of newcomers capable of pushing the 7 metre barrier as rookies. The women’s jumps group will see a significant boost from Manitoba Pole Vault record holder Samantha Allegro who will form a dynamic duo with returning All-Canadian Erika Fiedler. Allegro will have plenty of company as the Gryphons also welcome Mackenzie Kranics and Alison Fung in forming one of the best women’s vault groups in the country. Mikaela Vandenheuvel and incoming graduate student Anne Szeto are both expected to make an impact in the women’s triple jump, with Vandenheuvel also being one of the province’s top incoming long jumpers.

The sprint group will see an influx of local talent with the addition of John F Ross product Charlie Sutton who finished fourth at last year’s Canadian Junior Championships. Fellow long hurdler Vivian Stavrakos brings impressive range, already demonstrating the ability to qualify for the CIS Championships in the sprint hurdles and being a huge addition to the Gryphon relay squads. Burlington speedster Mike Boucher and Sudbury’s Brandon Shirk will also both be expected to help the team, Boucher in the short sprints and Shirk in the longer sprints and potentially the 600 metres.

Rounding out the Gryphons incredible class is transfer Anthony Romaniw. The former Canadian Junior Champion sat out last year after transferring from Dartmouth. He is currently the country’s fifth fastest 800 metre runner and will look to follow in the footsteps of last year’s incoming third year transfer, newly minted CIS record holder Tommy Lecours.

As the doors open later this month on the Gryphons new fieldhouse, and the new outdoor track shortly behind it, a new era of Gryphon Track and Field will begin. No longer will Gryphon athletes have to make due with subpar facilities. One has to wonder what these teams who have trained out of a warehouse the past two years are capable of, and can only imagine that at some point in the coming months Scott-Thomas will have a similar smile on his face to that of Kinsella as the fans roll into the farm.

Allegro Samantha Winnipeg, MB St. Mary's
Allison Katrina Vancouver, BC Lord Byng
Batten Lyndsay Aurora, ON Aurora
Black Sean Guelph, ON Our Lady Of Lourdes
Boucher Michael Burlington, ON Nelson
Bowman Kevin Port Elgin, ON Saugeen
Broeders Anthony Kingston, ON Regiopolis
Choghri Brandon Barrie, ON Innisdale
Fontanna Matthew Brampton, ON Brampton Christian
Fung Alison North Bay, ON Chipewa
Gravel Christian Vancouver, BC St. George's
Hughes Caitlin Waterloo, ON Sir John A MacDonald
Hutton Christopher St. Catherines, ON Sir Winston Churchill
Kranics MacKenzie Port Colbourne, ON Lakeshore
MacDonald Alannah St. Catherines, ON EL Crossley
Mallough Zachary London, ON Mother Theresa
Mitton Cheryse Kitchener, ON St Mary's
Piaseczny Konrad Vancouver, BC Holy Cross
Romaniw Anthony Hamilton, ON Dartmouth College
Rowles Adam Dundas, ON Highland
Saville Sebastian Ottawa, ON Colonel By
Seneca Brayden Welland, ON Notre Dame
Serviss Kelsey Renfrew, ON Fellowes
Shirk Brandon Sudbury, ON Lasalle
Sikubwabo Yves Ottawa, ON Glebe
Skeath Jared Toronto, ON Bishop Allen
Stavrakos Vivian Montreal, QC Marianoplois College
Sutton Charles Guelph, ON John F Ross
Szeto Anne Markham, ON Western University
Torres Mitchell Belleville, ON Albert College
Vandenheuvel Mikaela Arva, ON Medway
Walsh Brad Sault Ste Marie, ON Algoma College
Wilson Daniel Winnipeg, MB Kelvin
Yungblut Madeline Wroexter, ON F.E. Madill

Chris Moulton
University of Guelph
Track and Field

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