That Sudbury Sports Guy: Three unique Laurentian athletes prepare for OUA championships

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Monetary woes apart, Laurentian College has lengthy prided itself on the variety of its college students and workers. 

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And whereas the trio of student-athletes who will don the Voyageur colors on the upcoming OUA indoor monitor and subject championships, being hosted this weekend by the York Lions, won’t signify a whole microcosm of the establishment itself, their tales are most original and fairly diverse.

Freshman Kristen Mrozewski may effectively be essentially the most high-profile title coming in, the Lo-Ellen Park graduate truly recruited to the college. Solely drawback was that she was recruited as a hockey netminder, committing to this system that was disbanded earlier than the first-year nursing scholar ever took to the ice in an OUA recreation.

Fortunately, the well-spoken 18-year-old is hardly a one-trick pony, having certified for OFSAA championships each as a cross-country runner and in monitor and subject, notably within the 300-metre hurdles, throughout her tenure as a Knight. When her LU hockey teammates dispersed, Mrozewski pivoted.

“At first, it damage, these first few days — however then I began eager about whether or not I wished to maneuver away from house to play hockey, or do I need to keep right here,” stated the proficient teenager, who not too long ago positioned second within the 600 metres on the thirty eighth Annual Don Wright Staff Problem in London, overlaying the space in a time of 1:40.74.

“That is what I need, to run and keep at Laurentian.”

For the primary time in her life, Mrozewski can take pleasure in far more of a tunnel-visioned method to her athletic pursuits.

“Actually, I had no concept what to anticipate coming in; I had by no means actually completely centered on working,” she stated. “I had all the time been half on working, the opposite half of me in hockey or soccer.

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“Now that I’m in it, I’m actually having fun with it, actually proud of how I’ve been working, actually excited for the subsequent three to 4 years.”

And for as a lot as she was a product of the monitor and subject manufacturing facility that’s Lo-Ellen Park Secondary Faculty, Mrozewski nonetheless needed to cope with the inevitable bump up, as coaching calls for elevated.

“Mr. (Colin) Ward (head monitor coach at LEP) ready us very well,” she admitted. “He form of bases his exercises on the exercises that Darren (Jermyn, LU monitor coach) makes use of. I might say that the most important bounce was the size of the exercises, going from doing perhaps a 20- to 30-minute, exhausting exercise to going exhausting for over an hour.”

For his half, Alexandre Noel de Tilly flew a lot additional underneath the monitor and subject radar. A greater-than-average SDSSAA competitor, the now 21-year-old fourth-year bio-medical biology main featured a extra modest resume of highschool accomplishments as he took to the monitor at Laurentian within the winter of 2018-19.

What he could have lacked in glowing accolades as a sprinter, nonetheless, the previous Faculty Notre Dame Alouette greater than made up for by means of his burning need to attract each final little bit of potential from his athletic base. That drive got here in particularly useful these previous two years.

“Clearly, it was difficult to maintain understanding, particularly when there’s plenty of solo work,” Noel de Tilly stated. “It’s simply not as straightforward to maintain placing within the work while you’re working alone.”

After reaching the OUA customary in 12 months 1 by the pores and skin of his tooth (time of seven.39 seconds within the 60 metres simply barely squeezed him by means of), the aspiring scholar of dentistry has continued to shave off these priceless hundredths of a second, posting a private finest time of seven.28 earlier this month.

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Provided that he has embraced the necessity for technical excellence as a sprinter, a lot of his enchancment today comes from enhancing the athlete that he’s.

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“I used to be fortunate sufficient to purchase myself a set of weights, so I’ve obtained 275 kilos to work with at house,” he acknowledged. “Power coaching is large for a sprinter, to construct the energy and explosiveness you want.

“You’re not doing the normal physique constructing work — however for issues like stepping out of the blocks sooner, there are issues that actually drive the facility, issues like Olympic lifting.”

For somebody as considerate because the younger man who expects to compete in his remaining OUA race this coming weekend, there’s a sense of irony in working the quickest of occasions.

“It’s such a brief race that you just don’t have a lot time to consider a lot,” acknowledged Noel de Tilly. “There’s not a lot that goes by means of your thoughts.

“There’s an unimaginable quantity of tunnel imaginative and prescient. From the blocks, I form of go empty-minded, simply listening for the gun. Then I’m going and perhaps mid-race, I’d give myself a cue to kick my butt to assist drive my knees.”

And if all of that comes collectively as deliberate, Noel de Tilly could be thrilled with one remaining PB at York.

If Noel de Tilly is the epitome of the gradual and regular development of LU indoor monitor, then Marvin Zongo is the burst-on-the-scene-like-a-ball-of-fire excessive. The native of Burkina Faso in Western Africa first arrived at Laurentian within the fall of 2020, however is competing on the U Sports activities stage for the very first time this 12 months.

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Discuss making an affect.

All through the previous six weeks or so, the younger man who moved to Canada in 2020, making his method initially to the Universite de Hearst, has been ranked within the prime 5, nationally, in each the lengthy bounce and the triple bounce. With a background in soccer, karate and judo, Zongo was positively a late bloomer when it got here to the disciplines wherein he now soars.

“After I was 16, I found monitor by means of college,” he recalled. “I went to at least one meet and carried out effectively and the instructor wished me to maintain going. Leaping was very pure to me.”

Apparently so.

In a matter of one other 12 months or two, the regulation and justice main earned his first choice on the junior monitor and subject workforce that will signify his place of birth on the West African Junior Meet in Mali, ending third within the triple bounce.

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“That’s how it began.”

Sadly, it stopped simply as rapidly, the pandemic clearly world in its attain.

“I wasn’t capable of prepare as regular, which was very difficult for me — and I used to be truly very affected person,” Zongo stated. “This time (through the pandemic), I discovered loads about myself. It confirmed me be affected person and simply look forward to my time.”

Whereas the jumps have typically been his factor — Zongo even competed within the excessive bounce at one level in Africa — there’s versatility to his athleticism that serves him effectively.

“If you’d like to have the ability to bounce, you need to construct up some velocity,” he defined. “That you must do some 60 metres indoor, 100 metres.

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“2 hundred metres is likely to be a little bit lengthy, however it’s good to have some endurance.”

As the one Laurentian athlete to have certified for the U Sports activities championships, Zongo will head off to New Brunswick a few weeks after provincials.

“I’m going there to convey one thing again house,” he stated, referencing his present setting. “Sudbury could be very welcoming. I didn’t suppose I used to be going to be this snug in Sudbury.”

That’s simply a part of what makes the story of Marvin Zongo so distinctive — and so particular.

“I need to see how far I can go within the sport, in monitor, to push myself so far as I can.”

That Sudbury Sports activities Man runs recurrently in The Sudbury Star.

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