It has been a long season for the Georgian Bay Coyotes Track Club, but on the weekend of July 29/30 they travelled to Brampton for the MTA Provincial Championship meet. Despite training through all types of weather throughout the year, no one had expected that at the end of July the team would be competing in torrential rain, high winds, and unseasonably cool weather.
Saturday morning started off with the 1200m and 1500m races. After a delay of more than an hour before the first race of the day, the meet organizers decided they would proceed with the meet despite the weather.
In the first race of the day, Avery McPhatter was the lone Coyote runner to set a new personal best time, finishing 11th overall in the Tyke girls 1200m. It took a few more races but things started to look up for the Coyote members after the senior girls took to the track for their 1500m race. In her heat, Kate Earle managed finish well ahead of the others and knocked 15 seconds off her previous personal best time, finishing 11th. Lydia Menard battled hard throughout her race to knock an amazing 22 seconds off her previous best time, finishing 18th.
In the senior boys 1500m race Emmett Leary wanted to test his training by going into the race unseeded, which meant he was in the first and slowest heat for the race. Similar to many other athletes he started off well but with the heavy rain and strong winds he started to fade midway through the race. He easily cruised through the line ahead of other competitors in his heat but with all the fastest runners still to come he had to wait to see how well the others did. When all was said and done Emmett took 2nd place and the silver medal.
In the intermediate girls and boys 1500m, Vani Mahajan and Ethan Mei also ran well in comparison to their competitors. Neither ran personal best times, but both ran strong races. Vani placed 3rd overall taking the bronze medal, and Ethan ran a very smart race tailing the leader for a while before aggressively passing and holding onto his lead right through the finish and winning the gold medal. This is Ethan’s first MTA Provincial championship title.
On Saturday afternoon the weather started to improve slightly with the rain ceasing but the winds getting stronger. The Coyotes had nine athletes competing in the 400m sprints. In the Mite girls race Madeline Armstrong missed her personal best time by less than a 10th of a second and won the bronze medal, with Adelaide Kulakowsky setting a new personal best time and finishing less than a second behind in 4th. Her sister Ella Kulakowsky also had a strong race, knocking almost three seconds off her personal best, finishing in 9th and narrowly missing a ribbon which went to 8th place.
After a night of rest and recovery, Sunday morning brought sunshine and warmer temperatures and the runners gladly welcomed it. The first event of the day for the Coyotes was the 800m races. In the very first race Madeline Armstrong ran a strong race and somehow managed to have two finishing kicks as the announcer mistakenly told the crowd to cheer for the athletes as they came down the back stretch causing the athletes to push hard toward the finish line in their first of two laps. She held on strong for the final lap and in the process knocked eight seconds off her previous personal best.
The personal bests kept coming, with Nyla Dubeau knocking 18 seconds off her previous best time in the Tyke girls 800m to win her second bronze medal of the meet. Each and every Atom-aged Coyote set a new best time, with Jacob Martindill finishing 5th in the boys 800m. In the Senior and Intermediate 800m races most of the Coyotes continued to set new personal best times, with Isabel Spence and Emmett Leary finishing 8th and 5th respectively in the Senior category and Vani Mahajan and Ethan Mei finishing 5th and 4th in the Intermediate category. Of the 12 Coyotes who ran in the Atom through Intermediate categories 10 of them set new best times in a season that has been full of racing.
To finish off the Provincial Championships with a bang, the Coyotes entered the race medley for the first time. As a team that does not train sprinters it’s often tough to compete in relays, but with no expectations it was a fun way to finish the season. The Tyke girls 200m-100m-100m-400m race medley was first, with the Coyotes taking 3rd place. Since the Coyotes did not have enough runners in any other age group some athletes decided to move up age groups in order to form a team. In the Intermediate boys 400m-200m-200m-800m race medley three Coyotes moved up an age group, including Nathan Leary who moved up two age groups to form their team. With Emmett Leary running the first 400m, River Jones taking the first 200m leg and Nathan Leary taking the second 200m leg, the team managed to hold strong the entire time and were in third place with one runner to go. Ethan Mei took the baton and immediately started closing the gap on the two runners in front. At one point it looked like the Coyote team might pull off an upset but narrowly missed, crossing the line in 2nd place.
In the final race of the day three Senior girls moved up an age group to form an Intermediate team but were out-powered by the specialized sprinting clubs. The team of Kate Earle, Lydia Menard, Vani Mahajan, and Isabel Spence managed to have some fun, get a few laughs, and get some time to bond over their 6th place finish.
All in all in was a great season for the Coyote track club and they look forward to the upcoming Cross Country season. For full results or information about the club please visit their website at www.georgianbaycoyotes.com