The high school OFSAA Provincial Track and Field Championships will be held at York University in Toronto from Thursday, June 7 to Saturday, June 10.
Only Ontario's top athletes get this far, as the road to OFSAA is a demanding three weeks of advancements from prior meets. At the local area meet, the top four athletes in each event advance to their District Meet. From this meet only the top five keep going. Then they compete again the following week at their OFSAA Regional Championships. Only the top four in each regional are selected to compete at OFSAA.
The Georgian Bay Coyotes have three athletes this year worthy of competing at OFSAA to put their training to the test with Ontario's best.
Olivia Karn, a Grade 9 Orillia Secondary School student, competed in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay at the OFSAA Regional Central Championships held in Toronto on May 30-31 under hot and humid conditions. In the Grade 9 Girls Midget competitions, she sealed a spot to OFSAA in her 400m on Wednesday. Her personal best time of 1:02.11 placed her 4th overall.
On Thursday, her 800m time of 2:27.60 was her best time in two years, but was only good enough for 6th spot. Later in the day she ran another personal best time in her 200m at 27.19, good enough to seal 3rd spot and in her second event she qualified to compete at OFSAA. In her 4x400m event, she had the first leg and ran a strong time for her team. On one of the transitions, her team dropped the baton and fell back in the running. Her team's time of 4:22.44 placed them 6th overall.
The OFSAA Regional West Championships were held in Windsor on Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2, under cooler conditions. Ethan Pentland, a Grade 9 John Diefenbaker Secondary School student from Durham, and Spencer Book, a Grade 10 Georgian Bay Secondary School student in Meaford, laced up their shoes and were also ready to compete.
Ethan Pentland competed in the Grade 9 Midget Boys 1500m on June 1. He sat quietly for the first two laps and then jumped into the lead. He didn't look back and comfortably took top spot in a personal best time of 4:16.13. Shortly after, team mate Spencer Book competed in the Grade 10 Junior Boys 1500m. He came up short as he crossed the line in 4:20.47 to take 11th spot.
The next day, Book had refocused and was even more determined to make it to OFSAA. The Junior Boys 800m on Saturday afternoon had his name on it. He came through his first 400m in just over 58 seconds and then took the lead. He held first spot until the last 50m when he was then nipped out at the line to settle for 2nd spot. He ran a personal best time of 2:00.37.
“Congrats to Olivia, Ethan, and Spencer who will all represent their high school and the Georgian Bay Coyotes at OFSAA,” offered team coach Kevin Hooper. “Olivia won a bronze medal in her 200m and will compete in the 200m and 400m Midget Girls events. Ethan won gold and will compete in the Midget Boys 1500m. Spencer won silver and will compete in the Junior Boys 800m.”
For more information about the Team, check out their website at www.georgianbaycoyotes.com.
Photo: Olivia Karn, Spencer Book and Ethan Pentland from the Georgian Bay Coyotes Track Club all advance to the OFSAA Track and Field Provincial Championships on June 7-9 at York University.