Kingston Track and Field Club will hold its first meet Sunday, mostly at Caraco Field.
The fledgling club, just over a year old, will host the District G championships, the first step in the Royal Canadian Legion series that leads to a national championship in August. Track events, horizontal and vertical jumps and shot put will be held at Caraco, beginning with the steeplechase, girls long jump and boys pole vault at 10 a.m.
Discus and hammer throw will be contested at Richardson Stadium, also beginning at 10 a.m., while the javelin competitions will be held at the former Calvin Park Public School on Van Order Drive, commencing at 3:45 p.m.
The meet is open to anyone, regardless of whether they have a club affiliation.
About 200 competitors are expected from across the district, which extends from Napanee to the Quebec border, including Ottawa and the upper valley. The calibre of competition will be somewhere between what is seen at the county and EOSSAA levels during the high school season, meet director Darcelle McCutcheon said.
“There will be some great athletes here but the Legion intends it to be a place where any athlete can compete,” McCutcheon said. “It’s open to anyone, it’s free to compete … so you’ll get some independent athletes, who just want to get exposure to track and field.
“It’s really for all levels of ability.”
To that end, as well as providing an avenue for athletes between the ages of 14 and 17 to gain a spot at the provincial Legion meet next weekend in London, there will be events offered for competitors under the age of 14 and some for open competition.
For those in the under-16 and under-18 divisions to advance, athletes must finish in the top two in the respective events at this meet, and then be invited, based on where their performance stands relative to the top people from the other districts in Ontario.
From there, a provincial team is chosen to compete at the Canadian Legion championships in St-Therese, Que. The meet comes at the end of a week-long camp funded by the Legion.
Among those expected to compete Sunday are two of Kingston’s OFSAA medalists, hurdler Claire Millard and high jumper Anthony Donnet.
Last year, Kingston’s Ben Cross won the boys under-18 javelin gold medal at the national Legion meet in Langley, B.C.