“It was pure joy.” GPV girls thrilled to win track and field gold

The GPV Vipers 4x400 metres jr high girls track team, provincial champions. (Submitted photo)

FALL RIVER/WELLINGTON: Five student-athletes from Georges P. Vanier Junior High left everything they had out on the running track in Cape Breton last week.

The Vanier Vipers junior high girls 4 x 400 metre team and a triple jumper ended their junior high careers on top with gold medals around their necks from the School Sport Nova Scotia (SSNS) provincial track and field championships.

Josie Luedey of Waverley; Avah Nicholson of Wellington; Charlotte Whitman of Wellington; and Ava Manley of Waverley make up the 4 x 400 metres squad.

Waverley’s Addison Labucki took the gold in jr. high girls triple jump.

The championships were held at CBU in Cape Breton.


Charlotte Whitman knew exactly what it meant to win the gold.

“It was pure joy,” she told The Laker News. “We worked really hard for it.

“Coming second last year was good experience for us so we knew we could do it this year.”

She said in the last leg she could see the silver medallist right behind her and see the finish line within sight. The handoff was clean, but it felt scary since she didn’t want to let her team down.

“I knew I could do it and with everyone cheering me on I was able to finish strong and get us gold,” she said. “It felt amazing.”

Luedey said the team knew they had it in them to accomplish the goal.

“We just had to push hard to do it,” she said.


She said it was really close the last two runners.

“It was really exciting and nervous watching my teammates after I went,” she said.

Manley said the gold means a lot.

“With it being our final year in junior high, I think us winning gold is amazing and will be a memory we hold onto for the rest of our lives,” said Manley.

The hard work we did paid off this year to get the win.

“Everything worked out, and we felt ready to do it,” she said.

Nicholson said the team hopes to continue on as a group when they move to Lockview next year.

“It means a lot for our race that we won gold,” she said. “It was a lot of joy when we finished, and we saw that it said gold.”


Labucki jumped 10.13 metres to capture gold.

“It was amazing to win gold,” she said. “I was proud of myself for being able to do it.”

She said there was a lot of training.

“We practiced a lot in the gym,” she said. “But it was more a mental game to be able to do it.”

Labucki said she was surprised to be atop the overall standings. She plans to continue to compete in triple jump as she moves to LHS.

“I was jumping for joy,” said Labucki. “I didn’t expect to get that number for my triple jump.”