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Track and field champions
Deh Cho students compete in Hay River

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 14, 2012

Athletes from seven communities in the Deh Cho were among more than 1,100 athletes from across the North who competed in the 22nd annual NWT Track and Field Championships in Hay River from June 6 to 8.

NNSL photo/graphic

Aaron Constant of Deh Gah School in Fort Providence throws the javelin in the midget boys competition at the NWT Track and Field Championships in Hay River, held June 6 to 8. - Jesse Winter/NNSL photo

Every community in the Deh Cho was represented except Jean Marie River. Highlights from the athletes included Thomas Roche from Fort Simpson, who finished first in the senior 200-metre, second in the 100-metre and long jump and fourth in the 400-metre. Thanks to his performances, Roche finished third in the individual scores for the men's senior division.

Strong performances were also put forward by the coaches who accompanied the athletes. Kelley Andrews-Klein of Fort Simpson set a new record in the women's master shot put. Andrews-Klein threw the four-kilogram ball 8.44 metres, 0.45 metres farther than the previous record set in 2010. Andrews-Klein also finished fourth in discus.

From Deh Gah School in Fort Providence Mike Leishman finished first in the men's master discus and javelin and second in shot put. His performances gave him a fifth place individual score in his division.

The championship was also enjoyable for athletes who didn't return with a ribbon.

Destiny Ekotla, 14, competed in the championships for the first time this year. Ekotla, from Nahanni Butte, chose to compete in shot put, discus, long jump and the 100-metre. Ekotla said long jump was her favourite event.

"It was pretty easy," she said.

Conversely the 100-metre was pretty hard, she said, because there were lots of fast runners.

Ekotla's teammate, Josh Bertrand, also enjoyed long jump. Bertrand said he was impressed by how far some of his competitors could jump.

Bertrand, 15, also competed in the 100-metre, discus and shot put. Shot put was easy, but Bertrand had never thrown a discus before so he had to learn as the competition was underway.

Kakisa Lake School was also well represented at the championship. All six students from Kakisa competed.

Tarek Chicot, 10, entered the 100-metre, 200-metre, long jump and ball throw, as well as some relays. Chicot said he liked the relays because he enjoyed passing the baton.

Chicot's classmate Maverick Simba-Canadien, 8, also liked the running events, including the 100-metre and 200-metre.

"I like running," he said.

Simba-Canadien is already planning ahead for next year.

"I'm going to try doing the 400-metre," he said.

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