Sunday, September 24, 2023

Coyotes Compete in Brampton MTA Team Ontario Selection Meet

On Saturday June 24, the Georgian Bay Coyotes Track Club sent 22 athletes to Brampton for the Minor Track Association’s (MTA) Team Ontario Selection and prep meet.

The Minor Track Association will be selecting 40 athletes from across all Track and Field disciplines, sprints, distance running and jumps, to compete as part of Team Ontario at the International Youth Track and Field Championships in Maryland, USA.

Knowing that only 40 athletes would be selected from across Ontario, the Coyotes Track club from Meaford was using this race as a preparation meet and to see how training has been going so far this season.

Going into this race, Coyotes head coach Steve Leary was keeping expectations realistic as the club is in its hardest training of the season and with school winding down the athletes are tired and not ready for peak performance. The Coyote athletes soon proved him wrong as one by one they stepped up to the starting line and started accumulating new personal best times. Of the 36 races in which they competed, 29 new personal best times were set, and numerous Coyote athletes came away with medals and ribbons for their efforts.

The day began with light rain and cool temperatures which made for some comfortable running conditions and fast times on the track.

First up were the longest races of the day, the 1200m race for Tyke U10 athletes and the 1500m race for the older athletes. Of the thirteen Coyote athletes who raced, eleven of them set new personal best times with the other two athletes missing their personal best times by less than a second and a half.

In the very first race of the day, the Tyke girls 1200m race, the three Coyote athletes looked strong throughout the race with Miller Brodie taking second place and Avery McPhatter claiming third place; both winning their very first MTA medals.

In the Atom girls (U12) race Chloe Burgess knocked an amazing 31 seconds off her previous personal best time from only a few month ago placing sixth overall.

In the Senior girls (U14) race Isabel Spence, who has been steadily improving all year, knocked another 16 seconds off her time from May and narrowly missed the podium, finishing in fourth. Other exceptional runs from the Coyote athletes included Jacob Martindill who took another eight seconds off his previous personal best, finishing third in the Atom Boys (U12) 1500m.

Emmett Leary shaved another four seconds off his personal best to win the senior boys (U14) 1500m and in the process also ran the fastest time by a Grade 8 Coyote athlete in the team’s history.

Ethan Mei performed very well as he knocked 11 seconds off his previous personal best to take third in the Intermediate Boys (U16) 1500m.

The Coyotes’ success on the track continued throughout the morning, as all five of their athletes who competed in the 400m sprint set new personal best times, with both Madeline Armstrong and Bennett Hustwitt winning silver in their Mite (U8) races.

The final event in the morning was the Intermediate boys Long Jump. While the Georgian Bay Coyote team is exclusively a middle-distance track club, a few of the athletes have chosen to participate in jumping events without receiving formal training. Luke Jack was the lone Coyote participant in the long jump this weekend. He jumped well on a soggy day and placed third in his U16 age category.

At noon, while the athletes were enjoying their lunch break from the track, the weather took a dramatic turn. Blue skies rolled in and with it came high temperatures and even higher humidity. By the end of the break you could actually see steam rising off the rubberized track surface as the water quickly evaporated and left the athletes, coaches, and spectators gasping for a good breath of air. As the afternoon sun was at its peak, the Coyote athletes took to the track again for the 800m races. Despite the heat and humidity, thirteen of the eighteen Coyote runners who competed in the 800m still managed to run new personal best times. While there were few huge improvements in time, there were a few stand-out performances.

In the Mite girls 800m, Madeline Armstrong got off to a slow start on the first lap of the two-lap race while her competitors were feeling out their speed and sizing each other up. After some encouragement from coaches she took off hard with 350m remaining in the race with several of the other runners breaking away to stay with her. With a blistering fast second lap she still managed to take three seconds off her previous personal best time and claimed her second silver medal of the day. Isabel Spence, who has been eyeing up a spot on the very select Ontario team, also managed to have another great race, despite being in the slower heat and took another nine seconds off her previous personal best. In the process, she ran the fourth fastest time recorded for a Grade 8 Coyote athlete in the team’s 13-year history.

Overall it was a great day of racing with the team winning 12 medals, claiming an additional 13 top-six place ribbons and a slew of new personal best times. The Team Ontario selection committee will be making a decision on who will be part of the team that travels to the USA by June 27. The Coyotes are hopeful that there will be a few Georgian Bay Coyote athletes named to this very select team. For full results or for more information about the team visit their website at:


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