It was a championship 25 years in the making for the Saint John High School Greyhounds.
More than two decades after they won their last provincial title, the Greyhounds took first place at the New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association Track and Field championships at UNBSJ Saturday, raking in 32 medals in the process.
In the senior boys category, Grade 12 runner Nick MacMackin took home gold in the 800m and 1500m, while teammate Josh Shanks took first in the 3000m.
Senior Katie Robinson won a pair of gold medals (400m hurdle, 1500m) and fellow Greyhound Hannah Arsenault won the 3000m.
Grade 10 Greyhound Anthony Cormier set an NBIAA record in his gold-medal 300m hurdle performance, while fellow junior Greyhound Victoria Leblanc took gold in the 300m hurdles and the long jump.
And the team of Fakid Hossain, Anthony Cormier, Dallas Casey and Alex Smith took first in the junior boys 4x100 relay, while Cormier, Casey, Smith and Tyler Adams earned gold in the junior boys 4x400 relay.
The day couldn’t have gone any better for SJHS, said MacMackin.
“We weren’t really expecting a track banner,” said MacMackin, who has now won five gold medals in two years at the championships. “It wasn’t until we came out of regionals that we realized we had a good enough team to make a run at it.”
The Hounds took 12 gold, 12 silver and eight bronze on the day – good for 352 points, eclipsing runner-up Fredericton High School by nearly 100 points.
The team registered 67 top-eight performances on the day.
Robinson said capping off a high school career with a banner and a few gold medals is as good as it gets.
“It was an amazing day,” said Robinson, who will run for UNBSJ next year. “Twenty-five years is a long time, so to be able to break that streak means a lot for us.”
The win for the Hounds comes after the team took home the provincial cross-country banner last fall.
MacMackin, who was instrumental in that victory as well, said from top to bottom, the team pulled its own weight all year long.
MacMackin’s high school career is over, and he’s moving on the University of Windsor next year, where he plans to run varsity while studying engineering.
But the boys senior Greyhounds will still have Shanks, who’s only in Grade 11 and is expected to be a force next season.
Shanks won a gold and two silver on Saturday.
On the single-A side, Samuel de Champlain captured the banner for the second year in a row, winning nine medals – four gold, five bronze - beating out Polyvalente AJ Savoie.
Other Saint John area athletes who earned gold on the weekend include Sara Kean of Rothesay High (junior girls, 800m), Evynn Topolinsky of RHS (junior girls, 80m hurdles); SDC’s Paul Tremblay (junior boys 800m, 1500m, 3000m), SDC’s Alex Hayward (junior boys 100m Para); and Kennebecasis Valley High’s Jonah Evans (junior boys, 100m hurdles).
Rothesay High’s Jacob Hayes earned first in the senior boys 100m dash, while Harbour View High School’s Ben Fowler took gold in the senior boys high jump and javelin.