EDSS will be sending at least a handful of students to the regional track and field meet, with the chance of more to come after the second day of competition at the Waterloo County championships.
EDSS sent 27 athletes to WCSSAA, held at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Students have to be among the top four finishers in their event to move on to CWOSSAA next week.
In the first day of competition, Elmira had several javelin throwers place. In senior girls javelin, Mel Blake placed first and Steph Barber was fourth, while Nick Timmerman placed second in senior boys javelin.
Lydia Frey took third in the senior girls’ discus throw and might be a contender in long jump. Full competition results weren’t available at press time.
On the track, Madeline Charnuski is a strong contender in senior girls’ hurdles, running both the 100 metre hurdles on Wednesday and 400 metre hurdles on Thursday.
Hurdling runs in the family for Charnuski, whose older sister Olivia is studying at Liberty University on a full track scholarship. Both girls are members of the Laurel Creek Track and Field Club and help out with coaching hurdling.
A third of the team this year is in Grade 9, so a number of the athletes are still in the process of figuring out what events suit them best.
“They’re coming from ball throw and standing long jump. They’ve never done discus, they’ve never done javelin throw,” said track coach Lisa Douglas.
There are also some senior students who are trying track for the first time, which Douglas is happy too see. Too often, students assume they have to start in Grade 9 or 10 to have a shot.
Elmira struggles a bit when it comes to facilities and coaches for track. Douglas said it’s a tough sport to coach because the events are so diverse, it’s like coaching 10 different sports.
The team is enjoying the new track around the football field, which is a big improvement over the uneven surface of the old track. There are also new approaches to the long jump pit, but the takeoff boards aren’t in place, and there’s no cage for the discus throwers.
Elmira tends to be at a disadvantage when it comes to high school sports; the small size of the student body means the basketball team is also the volleyball team and the soccer team, and those teams struggle when they face schools where the students specialize. In track and field, it comes down to the individual, and the playing field is leveled.
“A lot of kids prefer the team sports, but this at least gives everyone the chance to compete,” Douglas said.