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Final preparations underway for high school track and field provincials

More than 1,500 athletes along with coaches, supporters to descend on Gutheridge Field for two-day event
The local high school community has prepared many a track and field meet over the last month, but nothing compares to what the small army of volunteers were setting up for most of the day Thursday.

From preparing the field to setting up tents to stocking the concession and everything in between, there was still tons to do as the first events approached Friday morning.

More than 1,500 athletes from throughout the province, along with their coaches, parents and supporters will take over Gutheridge Field this Friday and Saturday, covering two full days of competition during the Saskatchewan High School Athletics Association provincial track and field championship.

In fact, Gutheridge Field will have a larger population than the vast majority of communities the athletes themselves hail from.

Competition gets underway at 9 a.m. on Friday with the girls 80 metre hurdles across all three age groups along with the first full slate of field events. Action runs into the mid-afternoon, with an hour-long break in the field events at 3 p.m. and at 3:30 p.m. for the track competition. The final field events of the day will be at 5:15 p.m., while the final track races take place at 7:10 p.m.

Action resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday, with the field events running straight through until the final events at 2:30 p.m. The track portion will take an hour break at 1:30 p.m. and continue until the 4x400 metre races bring provincials to a close at 5:20 p.m.

Among the local medal favourites are 400m city championship record-setter Akuol Riak from Central in the midget girls middle distance races, multiple record-setter Aliyah Block from Cornerstone in the midget girls shot put and discus, 80-m hurdles district record setter Maurissa Metz of Vanier in the junior girls 80m hurdles, Vanier cross-country provincial champion and distance specialist Allison Grajczyk-Jelinski and Vanier season-long midget boys four-event standout Zidane Closs.

The weather both days is expected to be nearly perfect – Friday is slated to be 24 C and mainly sunny, while conditions will be cooler on Saturday with a high of 17 C and sunny.

Admission gates will be located at both the west and east entrances to Gutheridge Field, with admission $7 for adults and $5 for students. A two-day wristband can be purchased Friday.


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