Marymount Academy

On Your Mark, Get Set… Let the Winter Outdoor Adventure Race Begin!

The scene was set for a perfect Winter Outdoor Adventure Race on Tuesday, February 26, 2013. The sky was clear, the temperature was above zero – and most importantly, there was a lot of snow in Killarney. Compared to past years, this year’s event had more than enough snow for organizer and outdoor education teacher for the Sudbury Catholic District School Board, Brad Blackwell, to really focus the adventure race activities on true Northern Ontario winter activities.

“This was our third year running the Winter Outdoor adventure race – and, as compared to year’s past, the abundance of snow allowed us to set up some true northern outdoor programming as part of the race,” Blackwell said. “We wanted to ensure that all of the students taking part got a real feel for adventures in the snow, and how to not only survive it, but excel and have fun in it!”

This year’s race participants included secondary students from St. Charles College, St. Benedict and Marymount Academy. There were fifteen teams of three and each team had to take part in every leg of the race. Upon arrival in Killarney, the students were given race packets and instructions, and were quickly directed to the outdoor start location. Once the rules were established and all safety aspects reviewed, the students lined up to begin the first part of a seven-part challenge. The entire race included a strategic stick toss, a snow-pile build (a scaled-down version of a quinzee), a 1.13 km sprint, a 750 run in snowshoes, a Frisbee target toss, a strategic orienteering challenge and a fire-lighting trial.

The snowshoe run, the orienteering challenge and the fire-lighting components proved to be the most difficult part of the race for the participants. The orienteering section was tricky as any wrong answers on their check sheet resulted in penalties of an additional five minutes added on to their final time at the finish line. Once the snowshoes were on, they had to stay on throughout the orienteering section of the race and the students were only able to remove them once they began their fire challenge. With the fire challenge, the students were given minimal materials to start their fire, and the ultimate goal was to get a metal can of water to come to a complete boil before sprinting to the finish line. In order to get additional materials for the fire, the students had to do a different number of laps around a section of the forest depending on what materials were needed – whether it be more kindling, extra matches, etc.

In the end, one of the teams from St. Benedict was the first to cross the finish line and, despite some errors during the orienteering challenge, they beat the next team by a mere 25 seconds. This team consisted of Kyle Herbert (grade 10), Doug Pitfield (grade 12) and Kayla Huchenski (grade 12). Not only did the first place team take home the banner for their school, but were also each awarded a brand new set of Tubbs snowshoes that were generously donated to the race by the Tubbs Snowshoe Company. What happened after the team was presented with their prize, speaks volumes about the outstanding character of the Sudbury Catholic students. Both Kyle Herbert and Doug Pitfield thanked the organizers for their prize, but as their families are fortunate to already own several pairs, decided to donate the snowshoes back to their school to support the outdoor education program at St. Benedict. “This most generous gesture by these two students really capped off what was already a truly exceptional day,” Blackwell stated. “These students poured their heart and soul into this competition, and in the end they proudly represented their school both during and after the race! All of the students that competed today truly represent the positive Sudbury Catholic spirit and I congratulate each and every one of them for an outstanding job! As well, I thank all of the teachers and volunteers who helped made today such a success!”

After a hearty lunch provided by the organizers, students began to get ready for departure, but were overheard by the teachers and volunteers already strategizing for the next outdoor adventure race in the spring.

Marymount/St. Ben’s Alpine Teams Make it Back-to-Back-to-Back

On Wednesday, February 13th the SDSSAA/NOSSA Alpine Championships took place showcasing just shy of 100 of the best high school racers who competed in slalom and giant slalom. Conditions were perfect for racing and all of the skiers took advantage of the favourable racing conditions. In the Level 1 division (no club racing affiliation or experience past Nancy Greene) Marymount Academy and St. Benedict’s were looking to make it three consecutive championships in three consecutive years. In the morning slalom runs, Marymount set the mark and reaffirmed that they are still a strong force in the city. Katherine Boyce earned her first gold medal in alpine competition in only her second year of ski racing and she wasn’t finished there. She finished the afternoon giant slalom run in second and was the silver medallist. This resulted in Katherine being crowned the overall Level 1 Girls’ combined champion and double-gold medallist. The success didn’t stop with Katherine. Veteran high school racer Danielle Burla captured the gold medal in the girls’ giant slalom after having a difficult morning in the slalom. Overall, the Regals finished with Katherine as the gold medallist, first-year racer Carissa Roy as the silver medallist, second-year racer Kelsey Roy in third place, and veteran Brittany Major in fifth place. This was more than enough to earn Marymount their third NOSSA championship in three consecutive years. Team members include: Danielle Burla, Katherine Boyce, Carissa Roy, Kelsey Roy, Brittany Major, McKenna Urso, Toni Teale, Kelsey Bell, Brier Cook, and Marika Moskalyk.

For St. Benedict’s, it was very much of the same. Ryan Bell was the overall Level 1 boys’ combined silver medallist. Adam Kirkwood and Arthur Cavallin finished fourth and fifth respectively overall. These outstanding finishes also earned the St. Benedict’s Level 1 boys’ team their third NOSSA championship in three consecutive years. Team members include: Ryan Bell, Adam Kirkwood, Arthur Cavallin, Jarvis Hill, Alex Andlar, Justin Fabian, and Dana Petrone.

Both teams will be representing Northern Ontario at the Provincial OFSAA Championships to be held at Blue Mountain in Collingwood from February 24th – 26th.

Jeans for Teens at MMA

Through the organization, the Aeropostale clothing company has initiated a competition for Canadian secondary schools. Trying to make a difference for homeless teens, Aeropostale is challenging schools to collect the most number of jeans to support the teen clientele at homeless shelters across the nation. According to the website, the number one requested item at homeless shelters by teens is jeans. Marymount student Brooke Debassige who works at the Sudbury Aeropostale store was inspired by this contest and knew that her school would step up and take part in this initiative. After talking to both her principal Lucie Cullen and vice principal Lori Holden, the school launched its own Jeans for Teens collection. “It is the least we can do for others who are less fortunate in our local and surrounding communities,” Debassige stated. “At Marymount we are always encouraged to support each other and give back to the community, and I knew this was something that we should definitely be a part of – plus, it just feels good to do something good for others.”
Principal Lucie Cullen was inspired by Debassige’s idea. “Brooke came to us right away with this idea and we knew immediately that it was something that we would support as a school,” Cullen stated. “Marymount strives to support social justice initiatives and we are very proud of Brooke for bringing this forward so that we could participate as a school.”
After counting the jeans already collected on Friday, February 8th, Marymount Academy had over 600 pairs of jeans for donation. The Jeans for Teens collection will be ongoing until February 25, 2013 and the school is asking the community to help them with their collection and to drop off any new or gently used jeans to Marymount Academy located at 165 D’Youville St. before February 25, 2013.
The winning school will receive a $10,000 prize, Aeropostale hoodies with the school logo, and a party for the students.

Marymount Academy Part of Successful World Record Attempt

Students and staff from Marymount Academy received word the last week of January that their participation in the attempt to set the World Record for the Largest Practical Science Lesson at Multiple Venues this past October was a success. The event had a record number of participants – over 17,000 Canadians at 121 different locations across the country taking part in the science lesson. After reviewing all the information, data and video submitted, Guinness has confirmed that the record was in fact set and the attempt was successful. As some events and data were exempt, the official total of participants is 12, 701 and 88 different locations. Students at Marymount Academy had the opportunity to participate and teacher Lise Callahan organized the event for the grade 7,8,10 and 12 students.
“It was a really unique event for our students,” Callahan stated. “Just at the school level, our students really jumped on board and had a lot of fun working through the experiments and applying their science knowledge. Having learned that Marymount Academy’s participation in such a large record setting attempt was successful, it makes our the event even that much more exciting on a much, much bigger scale! Working through all of the set up, organization and follow-up, being a part of the inclusion into the Guinness Book of World Records definitely makes it all worth while!”

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