Johnny Loaring Classic meet continues to grow in stature for Athletics Canada

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The Johnny Loaring Classic track meet continues to grow in stature.

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The meet, which is scheduled for Saturday at Windsor University Stadium, is part of Athletics Canada’s National Athletics Tour.

“I think it’s because of the quality of the meeting, the results here and the officers and volunteers that we have in the community,” said meeting director and organizing committee chair Brett Lumley of the meeting’s growing prominence. .

Last year’s event was part of the pre-Olympics Tokyo Qualification Series, but this year’s event has been upgraded to a D-level classification and is part of the World Athletics Continental Tour – Challenger Series.

“This year, it’s the next level,” Lumley said. “There are not only performance points, but also placement points and there are eight (finalists) deep to (help) get named to the World Championships or the Commonwealth Games, but it depends on how you are ranked in the world rankings and there are bonuses. points.”

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Spectators were not allowed at last year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year’s event will welcome the return of fans. However, tickets are only available online, as the match does not require cash as part of security protocols related to COVID-19.

“It will be good to see the fans back,” Lumley said.

The event is expected to attract up to 250 elite athletes and more than 100 in the national section as Athletics Canada looks to provide meaningful competition for athletes in Canada in hopes of developing future members of the national team.

“Because we host early in the season, this is essentially the first event on the tour, I think level D is good,” Lumley said.

Prize money has also grown with more than $20,000 up for grabs for athletes, which is an increase from $10,000 a year ago.

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Locally, former Canadian Olympian and University of Windsor Lancer product Noelle Montcalm will compete in the women’s 400m hurdles alongside former Lancer Kelsey Balkwill.

Former Olympian and Canadian record holder Brittany Crew will compete in the women’s shot put, while former Olympian Gavin Smellie will compete in the men’s 100m, where he holds the event record.

Also set to compete is Zach Gingras, who is a Paralympic bronze medalist in the men’s 400m T38.

Tickets for the meet are $10 and are available for purchase online at johnnyloaringclassic.ca

jpparker@postmedia.com

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