From well over a dozen runners, jumpers and throwers to come out of Elmira District Secondary School this year, just three remain active. Abbygail Byers, Jamie Crawford and Kieran Stewart are the last three athletes from Elmira still standing, and they’ll be competing over the weekend at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations track and field provincials at the University of Guelph.
Opposing the trio will be the crème of the crop from every secondary school in the province, as the season has seen the number of contenders drop with every successive track meet. The OFSAA West regionals, held last weekend at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School, saw four athletes eliminated from the EDSS team.
Byers is perhaps the leading lady this year for the Elmira contingent. The Grade 9 student is heading to the provincials having qualified in all three of her events at OFSAA West, two of which she medaled. In the 100-metre midget dash, Byers claimed the gold by just two-tenths of a second. In the women’s 200-m, Byers won bronze, while in the women’s midget long jump she fell three centimetres shy of a podium finish.
Field athlete Jamie Crawford qualified in both of his two events. The Grade 9 jumper claimed the silver medal in the midget triple jump with a 12.2-metre finish, a solid 20-cm ahead of the third-place contestant, but 11-cm behind the gold-winner. In the long jump, Crawford took home the bronze with a 5.75-m jump – beating out the fourth place jumper by just a centimetre.
Finally, distance runner Kieran Stewart continued to put some distance between her rivals with a gold finish in the midget 3,000-metre run. With 11:09.45, Stewart came a full 16-seconds ahead of the third-place finisher, but found herself locked in a neck-and-neck race with the silver-winner, who came in under a second behind Stewart at 11:09.73.
Having survived the gauntlet of challenges leading up to the provincials, from the Waterloo County games through the Central Western regionals and past the OFSAA West, the three athletes will be representing EDSS at the OFSAA track and field championships starting today (Thursday) at the University of Guelph.