Despite inclement weather delaying the start of outdoor training, the Elmira District Secondary School track and field team put together a strong showing at the first meet of the season.Some 40 sprinters, jumpers, throwers and runners from EDSS took part May 1 in the Track Wars competition at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School in Cambridge. And while up until that point the squad had been limited to practicing only within the school’s weight rooms and gyms, they were still able to put together an impressive outing, coach Lisa Douglas said.
“Considering the season we have had, they did quite well,” she said, noting the scheduled first event the team was supposed to participate in, the Maxi Meet #1 on April 23, was cancelled due to cold, wet, snowy weather. “If we look at how they compared to other WCSSAA (Waterloo County Secondary Schools Athletic Association) schools, because the track wars is big, there are kids from Owen Sound, London and all over, so when we look at how they fared against other WCSSAA schools, they did a really good job.”
Top finishers included: Nathanial Mechler, first in the senior boys shot put, pole vault and 300 metre dash; Emily Willms placed second in the senior girls javelin throw; Owen Read finished third in the senior boys 300 metre dash and fourth in the 100 metre sprint and Savannah Campbell was second in the junior girls 100 metre race.
The rest of the team was solid too, Douglas said.
“The results were promising across the board. Some of them thought that maybe a 12th place finish wasn’t very good, but then when you look at just the WCSSAA schools, you see that it would be in the top four, which is the key number in terms of qualifying for CWOSSAA.”
Last week, as the mercury headed up the dial and the rain mostly stayed away, the team got their first reps around the track and in the jumping pits next to the Woolwich Memorial Centre. On Thursday, they headed back to JHSS for the Maxi Meet #2.
This week the stakes will be raised with the WCSSAA finals, with top four finishers earning a ticket to CWOSSAA (Central Western Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association) the following week.
There, the top athletes will need to be at the top of their game if they hope to qualify for the OFSSAA West meet, which goes May 26.
Finally, a top spot there will land the best of the best a chance to compete against the cream of the crop at the OFSSAA overall championships June 4-6 at the Varsity Centre in Toronto.
And with a number of elite athletes with experience at the club level outside of school on the team this year, EDSS should be represented well this season.
“Normally about half of our WCSSAA kids qualify for CWOSSAA and about half move on to regionals,” Douglas said. “Then OFSSAA is a lot tougher because there are athletes from all across the province. We have about 40 students on the team this year, so I would say if we have 20 or so make it to CWOSSAA that would be a good year.”