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Sandy Lake runners bring home gold, bronze medals from NAIG

Monday August 25, 2014

Sandy Lake’s Jeffrey Kakegamic brought home gold and bronze medals from the 2014 North American Indigenous Games, held July 20-27 in Regina, Saskatchewan.

“Jeffrey picked up a gold in the 4x400 and a bronze in the 100-metre relay race,” said Ralph Bekintis, male chaperone for the Sandy Lake athletes and vice-principal at Thomas Fiddler Memorial Elementary School in Sandy Lake. “He was really happy when he got his first bronze — he jumped about four feet. We thought maybe we should have put him in the high jump.”

Bekintis said Kakegamic, 15, wore spike shoes for the first time in the races.

“The track they have over there is a beautiful, brand-new kind of track where you have to have different kind of shoes,” Bekintis said. “Even for the cross-country, he had a pair of spikes.
It was an experience for him because he actually came dead last in one of the races. He never lost a race before in his life when he was in Sandy Lake and there he was coming in dead last.”

Bekintis said Kakegamic won the bronze when another team dropped their baton during the race.

“It brought tears to my eyes when you see a young boy like that compete and do well,” Bekintis said. “And when he got his gold, that was the icing on the cake for him. He led off and he gave them a lead at the beginning and they never looked back. The last guy that was running, he had a 60-metre lead or something. There was no way the other team could even catch him. He was like coasting in the last 30 metres.”

Bekintis said Kakegamic is already training for his next competition.

“He’s getting ready — he knows he has to try harder now,” Bekintis said. “He’s a role model now. I didn’t have to tell him to run that day. He’s already getting ready to run again. He has to pick up his speed. He knows there are people who can beat him now.”

Kakegamic and the Team Ontario 400-metre relay runners won the 4x400m Relay U16 race with a time of 3:52.63, while Team Saskatchewan took second with 3:59.28 and Team Northwest Territories took third with 4:11.00.

Kakegamic and the Team Ontario 100-metre relay runners finished third in the 4x100m Relay U16 race with a time of 0:50.94, while Team Saskatchewan finished first with 0:48.97 and Team Northwest Territories finished second with 0:49.60.

Sandy Lake’s Keiron Kakepetum, 17, also brought home a bronze medal in the Box Lacrosse U19 competition.

Aaron Gorzen, 15, Jurriah Kakepetum, 13, Tanner Meekis, 14, and Tyler Kakegamic, 16, also competed in NAIG competitions for Sandy Lake.

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