The fields may have been off-limits for most of spring, but that didn’t stop EDSS students from bringing home the hardware from the Waterloo County Secondary School Athletics Association (WCSSAA) competition.
Even with a late and wet spring that kept most sports indoors, the Lancers made a strong showing at the event at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School May 14-15.
“With the weather this year, we’ve been doing a lot of indoor practices, so as a result they actually didn’t get the outdoor practices that would have been ideal for them,” said track coach Lisa Douglas. “If we’re not allowed on the fields, and they can’t practice their long-jump or triple jump, or can’t throw a javelin or a shot, it’s definitely a challenge.
“We got creative and were doing sprints in the hall or whatever, but it was a challenging spring for track and field.”
But damp fields didn’t dampen enthusiasm. “They’ve been great,” said Douglas of the students. “They’ve been very positive, but you could tell that by the time May rolled around, they were really itching to get outside and train more specifically for their events rather than the general conditioning we’d been doing.”
Even with the spotty preparation, there was still plenty of recognition to go around. Gold medals went to Alex Weber (Sr. Boys javelin), Alex Hildenbrand (in the open 1500m steeplechase and the Sr. Girls 3000m). Silver went to Nathaniel Mechler (Sr. Boys javelin), Julia Hildebrand (open 1500m steeplechase), and Sydney Jones (Sr. Girls javelin), Emily Willms (Jr. Girls javelin).
Also, bronze medals were handed to Dexter Roth (Midget Boys high jump) and Julie Hildebrand (Sr. Girls 3000m), and fourth-place citations were given to Nathaniel Mechler (Sr. Boys discus), Taylor Rempel (Jr. Girls 800m), Sarah Larke (Jr. Girls 200m), Marlowe Schott (Sr. Girls shotput), and the team of Abby Ziegler, Sadie Richmond, Amy Lacey, Savannah Campbell, and Emily Yeung in the Midget Girls 4×100 relay.
In addition, two athletes were awarded the titles of Overall WCSSAA Midget Male and Female athletes. Savannah Campbell and Owen Read placed first in all three of their events: the 100m, 200m, and 400m all-midget boys/girls races.
“It’s pretty exciting,” said Douglas of the two athletes. “As far as I know, in the history of EDSS we’ve never had a double winner for boy-and-girl overall athlete.”
The key to success came down to hard work, said Douglas. “It’s probably their level of compete and their dedication to the sport. They’re very specific, and they fine-tune everything they do. They pay attention to the details, as opposed to just running and jumping or whatever.
“It’s a step up from the elementary meets they would have had where everybody shows up and competes: these kids have to pay more attention to detail.”
The athletes listed above went on to compete at the Central Western Ontario Secondary Schools Association (CWOSSA) event on May 21-22; the top five in each event will advance to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) West Regionals in Windsor May 30-31, with successful athletes moving on to OFSAA in Mississauga. Douglas says that EDSS has what it takes to go the distance.
“It’s easy to get concerned or worried when you see all the other athletes around. It’s important that they just focus on what they’ve been doing, and what they can do, and take control of their performances.”