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New Legacy meet to establish bursary for track and field athletes

April 23, 2014

About 700 athletes from high schools across eastern Ontario are expected to compete Friday in the first Limestone Legacy track and field meet at Caraco Field.

“As soon as the new track was open we wanted to revive the old Queen’s Invitational,” said Laura McDowell, a coach at La Salle Secondary School.

For more than 30 years, the Queen’s Track Alumni meet was held the last Saturday in April. Typically the first meet of the high school season, at its peak it was one of the largest meets in the province, but it died about 10 years ago when the Richardson Stadium track fell into disrepair.

Kim James, the track coach at Kingston Collegiate, spearheads the group organizing the event, McDowell said. “We all felt like it would be good to have another invitational in Kingston, especially with the beautiful track that we have.”

The meet’s name, Limestone Legacy, reflects the fact that the meet will be used to establish a bursary for track athletes pursuing post-secondary study. Entry fees will support the fund that eventually will award a grant annually.

Friday’s meet will not have a complete schedule of events. The Caraco facility still lacks areas to conduct discus and javelin events; there will be no 3,000-metre races and the pole vault competitions will be open, with a single event for athletes of all ages.

As well, runners will race 200, 400 and 800 metres as part of relays, with midget, junior and senior co-ed 200-metre events, and open boys and open girls 400x400x400x800-metre races. There will be sprint hurdles but no intermediate hurdle events.

“It’s kind of a scaled down version for our first go, but a lot of people like that at this time of the season, anyway,” McDowell said. “It’s a good way to get in some different events and because it is so early in the season, we’d like to keep it contained a little bit.”

McDowell said that a large group of students from several schools was practising Tuesday at the Caraco Field.

“It’s kind of exciting,” she said. “The atmosphere is so nice when you have everybody training and getting ready.”

Friday’s meet will commence with the steeplechase, five field events and a How To Use Blocks clinic for midget-age sprinters at 9 a.m. The final event on the track, the 400-metre relays, are scheduled for 4 p.m.

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