Nearly all of Elmira District Secondary School’s track and field team who competed in Kincardine last week are heading to the next round, after qualifying for the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) West meet.
“That’s unusual. That’s really unusual,” said coach Lisa Douglas. “A bit of that is because of the relay. Fifteen of 17, I don’t think we’ve ever had that great of a percentage of kids go on. So that’s outstanding.”
They usually expect only half of the team to move on to the next round.
The athletes had to come in the top six in their events at the Central Western Ontario Secondary Schools Association meet in order to move on.
The midget girls’ 4×100-metre relay team came in sixth place. The team consists of Sidney Montague, Chloe Snider, Maddie Quinn, and Lizzy Klosa.
The midget boys’ 4×100-metre relay team also qualified for OFSAA West, finishing in fifth. Team members are Griffen Rollins, Brian Alpaugh, Erik Krepstakies, and Gavin Cortes. Kurtis Hoover is the alternate.
She says some students were happy with their compete level, while others are always looking to improve.
“Everyone finished as a minimum in the top 10, which I think when you’re dealing with kids from across Central Western Ontario, I think that’s amazing. So that was positive. Some are always looking for more, which is good. We had some unfortunate incidents, like it was only a six-lane track and our one girl, she was eighth, so if it was here she would have still ran in the final, but because they only had a six-lane track she didn’t get that opportunity. But she qualified on her other events, so that was good,” Douglas said.
John Wang came in fourth place in the junior boys’ 3000-metre run, a great achievement for him.
“John Wang ran a personal best in his 3000-metre. He improved his previous best result by one minute in 3000 metres, so he was pretty happy about that,” Douglas said.
Lizzy Klosa finished fourth in the midget girls’ 200-meter dash. Danielle Weber jumped to a third-place finish in the junior girls’ high jump.
Owen Read earned third place in the senior boys’ 100-metre dash, second place in the senior boys’ 200-metre dash, and third in the senior boys’ 400-metre dash,
Savannah Campbell earned her spot at OFSAA West by finishing fifth in the senior girls’ 400-metre dash.
“Savannah, she ended up pulling out of one of her events last week because she pulled her hamstring. So she’s hoping to get through on what wouldn’t be her premiere event. She pulled out of what her favourite event was because she injured herself in another one,” Douglas explained.
Emily Willms is moving on after a fourth-place finish in senior girls’ javelin throw.
Douglas notes Sonya Wideman qualified for senior girls’ high jump as of last Friday. It’s not clear if someone else dropped out or if there was an error with her original score.
Willms and Read have both gone to OFSAA before.
“Owen Read qualified in all three of his events and he’s gone to OFSAA every year so far in high school. This year will be more difficult because he’s a first-year senior, and there’s up to two years older than him, but by qualifying for all three events that obviously gives him a good chance,” Douglas said.
They’ll have to finish in the top four at OFSAA West this weekend in order to move on to the OFSAA championships in Windsor from June 2-4.
“They know it’s going to be high stakes and stiff competition this weekend. In reality they can only do what they can do, so to do their best will be a success for them,” Douglas.
She notes usually if they make it to OFSAA then they do really well there because some of the other regions competing there aren’t as strong as the ones they’ve already been pitted against, since all of the regions send the same number athletes. EDSS would have already faced athletes from London, and Windsor, who typically are strong competitors.
And with the end of the school year coming to an end, it’s also a busy time for them academically.
“All of this is culminating and then they’re busy in school, and they’ve missed a lot of school and the farther they go the more school they miss and the farther behind they become in their studies. So they do want to go on, but it’s finding that balance.”
The team heads to OFSAA West at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School in Cambridge this Friday and Saturday.