Chilly temperatures and nearly 2,000 competitors didn’t stop Elmira District Secondary School’s track and field team from coming away with some top finishes at the annual Track Wars held Apr. 29 at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School in Cambridge.
Athletes from 49 schools spent the day running, jumping and throwing to test their merits early in the track season.
EDSS track and field coach Lisa Douglas says the team is happy with their results and excited about the regional competition, WCSSAA coming up next week.
“It was a great event for them to get exposure to the events that they want to try at WCSSAA. It was an excellent way for them to get exposed to what’s to come because the meets have been pretty informal so far. So it gets them just a little bit ready for WCSSAA,” Douglas said.
A handful of athletes from the EDSS team earned second place finishes. These include Lizzy Klosa in the midget girls’ 100-metre dash, Savannah Campbell in the senior girls’ 300m dash, Emily Willms in the senior girls’ javelin throw, and Owen Read in the senior boys’ 300m dash.
“They ran a 300-metre because they couldn’t run all the events that day, instead of doing a 200 and a 400. Three hundred metres is an unconventional race but that’s why they offered that one to try to settle the difference between the two events,” Douglas explained.
Read also came fifth in the senior boys’ 100m dash.
Danielle Weber finished third in the junior girls’ high jump. Sonya Wideman earned fourth in the senior girls’ high jump.
EDSS had a fourth-place finish in the boys’ 4 x 800m relay.
There are 47 students on the team this year, a slight increase in participation from previous years. She says many of them are Grade 9s or seniors this year.
“We’ve been practicing for awhile. We’re finally getting to go outside, which is nice because we couldn’t go on the grass. The kids are excited about being able to practice their events in a more realistic situation,” Douglas said.
They’re also helped by some student athletes who’ve pitched in to coach. She says it’s a great benefit to the team because there’s so much variety and specialties in track and field, and not always enough coaches to go around.
With their eyes on WCSSAA, they were busy this week focusing on details like their hand offs in relay races. She adds the throwers are excited to get out on the grass now and practice. She expects they’ll probably see big improvements in both of those areas.
“It’s a really fun group this year. They’re very inclusive and very supportive of each other, which you sometimes don’t see in a track and field team, just because they have their own individual events. I think that support they have for each other has become contagious and is going to lead to a really successful season,” Douglas said.
They previously competed in a Maxi Meet at the end of April and have their second Maxi Meet today (May 5). They’ll head to JHSS from May 11-12 for WCSSAA, followed by CWOSSA May 18-19.