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Basson golden late July T&F recap

Basson Ontario U20 800m gold 


 Sparta resident wins at provincial athletics championships while 

 sprinter Mike Roth keeps adding to an impressive resume


 July 24, 2023



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Mason Basson won the men's 800-meter run at Athletics Ontario U20 championships July 16 at the Toronto Track and Field Center. The 19-year old from Sparta will be at the Canadian championships, July 27-30, in Langley, British Columbia. (photo/mgb4sports)



By Rob J. Ross 

ST. THOMAS - Mason Basson is a provincial U20 men's 800-meter champion.

The Sparta resident won the twice around the oval race in one minute and 52.86 seconds (1:52.86) at Athletics Ontario (AO) Open and U20 championships, July 14-16 at the Toronto track and field center.

"It felt really relaxed through the first 400 meters, passing around 56 (seconds)," Basson said. "I started picking it up through 400 to 600 meters and kicked in the last 200 for the win."

The St. Thomas Legion Club (STL) member was just a second off his personal best time, taking the race by about two-tenths of the second over Toronto's John O'Reilly and London's Tom Boers.

Basson placed 23rd in the U20 men's 1500m (4:04.9), won by Boers (3:52.87), just a warm-up for his 800.

The 19-year old also advanced to the 400 meter final, but after dropped out of the race soon after the start to stay rested.

Next for Basson are the 2023 Canadian track and field championships (senior and U20 divisions), July 27-30, in Langley, B.C.

"I feel very excited," said Basson, who will be in the U20 men's 800. "The legs are a lot more rested compared to this time last year."

In 2022, the Canadians took place in late June, just a few weeks after OFSAA, the provincial high school championships.

Basson is one of three St. Thomas Legion Club members heading to Canadians.

Mike Roth from St. Thomas, will be in the senior men's 400-meter dash and Hallee Knelsen of Malahide, in the senior women's 800 meters.

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Jadyn Luna won silver in U20 women's shot put at Athletics Ontario championships, The Thorndale resident will be in the women's heptathlon at Canadians, July 27-30. (photo/mgb4sports)


Thorndale's Jadyn Luna, who trains with London-Western Club, will be in the U20 women's heptathlon at Canadians.

Luna is coming off silver medal performance in U20 women's shot put, at the AO meet, with a best toss of 11.11 meters. Luna placed eighth in the women's 100-meter hurdles finishing in 15.47 seconds.

It will be the first appearance on the National stage for Luna, who heads to the University of Windsor this fall.

"I'm very excited," Luna said of her debut. "I'm trying to go in with an open mind and just try to improve on my score from provincials."

In June, Luna won U20 heptathlon gold at the Ontario multi events championships, with an overall points total and new PB of 4,240 points.

Several additional athletes from across Elgin County and Thames Centre, competed at the AO Open and U20 meet and will be traveling west to Langley.

Matt Piekny brought home a bronze medal in U20 men's pole vault.

Piekny, from St. Thomas, cleared 4.10 meters, tied second best height, but lost the tie-breaker, fewest number of missed attempts, to Peterborough's Harrison Booth.

Liam Miller won the event clearing 4.35 meters.

At OFSAA, the high school provincial championships in June at Ottawa, Miller won senior men's boys gold, with Piekny finishing second.

Piekny will vaulting at Canadians in the U20 division.

"I'm hoping to perform well and do the best that I can," said Piekny. "I'm not focused on placing although it would be very nice to do so."

Brianna Rand of Dorchester, won a bronze medal in women's triple jump, with a best effort measuring 11.66 meters.


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Hallee Knelsen finished seventh in both the Open women's 800 and 1500 meter runs at the Athletics Ontario outdoor championships. (photo/mgb4sports)


Hallee Knelsen, with STL, finished seventh in both the Open women's 1500 meter run, with a four second personal best (PB) time of four minutes and 24.72 seconds (4:24.72) and the 800m (2:08.39).

The 20-year old from south of Aylmer in Malahide township, will make her first appearance in the senior division at Canadians in the 800. A year ago, Knelson won silver in U20 women's 800 meters at Canadians and later competed at World Athletics U20 championships, held in Columbia.

This year Knelsen has endured a broken wrist during the indoor season with the Western Mustangs in February, followed by a leg injury a few months ago. But with her PB in the 1500 and one her best ever times in the 800 (2:08.07) earlier this month (PB is 2:07.44), the third year Health Sciences student at Western seems to be returning to form in time for Canadians.

Fifteen year old Libby McCurdy of Sparta, placed eighth in U20 women's pole vault (3.10m).

Next for Libby are the U20 Canadians, her second appearance on a National stage. McCurdy won silver in U16 pole vault at the 2022 Legion Youth Nationals held in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

At OFSAA this year,  McCurdy set a PB of 3.25 meters winning junior women's gold.

"I hope I can at least do my best," said McCurdy, who has been enjoying her western adventure before her event on Friday. "I've already been exploring B.C. It's been so much fun."

Hunter Smith of St. Thomas, was ninth in open women's hammer throw (33.95m).

Vincent Moore of St. Thomas, was 14th, in the U20 men's 800m (1:57.12).

Tayah DeSousa of St. Thomas, with STL, was 15th in both Open women's long jump (5.32m) and the 100-meter hurdles (15.12 sec.)

Alexis Gray, just 15 years old, was 21st in the U20 women's 400-meter dash (1:04.75) and 55th, in the 200-meter dash (28.37 sec.).


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Mike Roth here at a meet in Windsor placed fourth in the men's 400-meter at the U23 NACAC championships held in Costa Rica July 22. (photo/Mundosportsimages)


Roth fourth at U23 NACAC meet

Roth continues to add to his impressive track resume.

The 21-year old from St. Thomas finished fourth in the men's 400 meter final, at the North American Central American Caribbean (NACAC) U23 track and field championships, in San Jose, Costa Rica, July 22. Roth clocked in at 46.47 seconds.

"The experience was awesome. The people there and the coaches that helped us along the way were all amazing." Roth said.

Roth had a few obstacles to overcome. First, the team had incorrect start times for the heats and then in the final, there was a false start, that led a runner being disqualified. A few of the runners, including Roth, had great starts and didn't realize there a false start right away, taking away some energy.

"The heats run was honestly one of my favourite races I've ever had. We messed up the times so I didn't get any warm up and I still got a PB trying to be chill," said Roth. "The finals I blundered with that false start. Me, the Jamaican and the American all went out so far before we stopped and it showed. But overall I'm not upset about any of it. Had a really fun time and would do it again in a heartbeat."

In the heats, Roth set a PB time of 45.82 seconds, the third fastest 400 ran by a Canadian male this outdoor season. Only Myles Misener-Daley (45.25 sec.) and Will Floyd (45.31 sec.) have posted faster times. This makes Roth a medal contender at Canadians later this week.

Canada's U23 men's 4x400-meter relay team of Roth, Callum Robinson, Abdullahi Hassan and Almond Small placed in a time of 3:06.33, behind Jamaica, the U.S. and Barbados.

This is the second time Roth has represented Canada. In 2021, Roth ran the 200 and 400 events at the World Athletics U20 championships, in Kenya.

Last summer, Roth won both the 200 and 400 at the Canada Summer Games (U23) and was on Team Ontario's golden 4x400-meter relay team and took a bronze in the 4x100-meter relay.

Earlier this month at the Harry Jerome Classic meet in Langley, B.C., Roth ran the opening leg for Canada Red, in the mixed 4x400-meter relay race. Roth, along Aiyanna Stiverne, Nathan George and Savanah Sutherland, set a meet record winning in three minutes and 15.20 seconds (3:15.20).


Anderson wins twice at field meet

David Anderson won the U18 men's discus (39.24 meters) and shot put (13.47m), at John Allen Field Series meet two July 12, at Western University.

Anderson, from St. Thomas, also placed third in the hammer throw (26.96m) and was one four athletes with St. Thomas Legion Club.

Brady Fodor from Shedden, placed third in both open men's discus (40.07m) and shot put (13.03m).

Jayden Sargeant was third in U18 men's javelin (32.49m) and fourth in shot put (11.17m).

Emma Westbrook, of St. Thomas, was second in U18 women's javelin (31.67m) and third in shot put (9.33m).

Andrew Urquhart, of Thorndale, won U16 men's javelin (39.51m), placed second in shot put (13.33m) and third in discus (32.74m).

Evan Stevens, of Thorndale, won U18 men's javelin (47.34m), while dad, Mark, took the Masters men's division (38.46m).

Brianna Rand, of Dorchester and Claireese Coffey, of St. Thomas, placed fifth (11.76m) and seventh (10.72m), respectively, in open women's triple jump.

Gustavson second in road race

Ten year old Brooke Gustavson of Talbotville, finished second overall in the two kilometer event, at the Summer Night road races July 14 in London. 17th (1:59.60).









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