The Georgian Bay Coyotes Track Club is looking to make 2023 another great year of training and racing for local youth. With the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having, the Coyotes have been taking full advantage of the clear roads and sidewalks to do some of their hardest winter workouts, such as running hill repeats, without the fear of slips and falls.
Despite being in the hardest part of their winter training and having tired legs, a small number of the Coyote athletes decided to put their training to the test as ten athletes travelled to the Toronto Track and Field Centre to compete against some of the best in the province for the first track and field meet of the year.
The expectations for this track meet were to simply have some fun in the middle of a long winter training block, gain some experience, and allow the coaches to see how well the training has been going so far this season. Coach Steve wanted to emphasize some fun for the runners, so he brought along a new team mascot, the Wile-E-Coyote with a custom-fitted team jersey. The mascot was tossed about in games of tag as the runners awaited their afternoon races.
In the first race of the day, Coyote Bennett Hustwitt got off to a fast start and faded a bit in the final stretch but still cruised to a first place finish in the boys U9 400m. In the girls U11 400m, Breanna Hustwitt had some fierce competition and finished 8th overall, knocking six seconds off her previous personal best time in the 400m.
In their second race of the day, both Hustwitts ended up being placed in the same heat, which made for some fun jockeying for position on the line. Both raced well and Bennett won himself a second gold medal.
Caleb Cleland was the only Coyote participating in the 1200m races and he finished with a three-second personal best in the boys U11 race, and brought home another gold medal for the team. Following the 1200m races, Chloe Burgess competed in her first indoor meet, the 1500m race. She stayed calm and cool, smashing her personal best by nine seconds.
Jacob Martindill, Nathan Leary, and Richard Saunders took part in both the U13 boys 1500m and the 800m races and found that they were excellent competition for each other as they traded positions and tried to out-sprint each other. In their 800m race, Jacob Martindill looked calm and strong as he crossed the finish line, knocking nine seconds off his previous personal best. Richard and Nathan were not far behind, with Nathan lunging forward to cross the finish line and claiming 6th place ahead of Richard in 7th by 1/10th of a second.
The seniors of the team looked confident and strong in all of their races. Isabel Spence put forth a very controlled performance in her 800m race and she finished second in her heat, earning herself a new personal best. Bryson Cleland took part in the 800m race and had Coach Steve coaxing him to push himself earlier than usual and he earned himself a new personal best. Emmett Leary demonstrated great control in both of his 1500m and 800m races and he placed first in both. The 1500m race was quite interesting as the officials didn’t acknowledge that Emmett and another racer from Etobicoke had finished their 1500m race a full lap ahead of many, so both jumped back on the track and did an additional 200m at a blistering pace. After reviewing the footage, all was corrected, though many of the athletes left the track unhappy about not having the bell lap signalled appropriately, as many didn’t put forth a finishing kick.
All in all, it was a great day of racing. The Coyote athletes managed to take home many lessons along with five gold medals, lots of ribbons, and 15 new personal best times of the 19 events in which they participated. For more details, or to learn more about the team, please visit their website at www.geogianbaycoyotes.com.