It was a picture-perfect day for racing on September 30 as the Georgian Bay Coyote Track Club played host to over 285 racers from the surrounding area. This free race, open to all school age children, marked its 12th successful event.
Spectators were able to enjoy some thrilling races, and the mayor of the Municipality of Meaford, Ross Kentner, was there to present medals to some outstanding athletes.
The athletes who participated all put forth valiant efforts to complete the lengthy course set before them. Some notable races throughout the day included the Grade 2-3 girls’ race, where Coyote Breanna Hustwitt showed confidence in her training as she worked her way to the front of the 42 athletes competing. She proudly captured second place for her efforts.
The Grade 3-4 boys’ race was also one to watch as Coyote Caleb Cleland flew through the course finishing well before any of his competitors. His teammate Bennett Hustwitt played it smart and stuck to his pace throughout the race and put forth a mighty surge at the finish, placing fourth.
In the 5-6 girls’ race, 23 runners competed and the extremely strong Coyote girls’ team swept the podium and took 8 of the top 10 finishes.
Richard Saunders looked calm and confident as he pushed to finish the 5-6 boys’ race in first place. The Grade 7-8 boys’ race had everyone on their toes.
Liam Law got an early lead and dominated throughout the race, while the rest of his competitors battled their way through the course. Bryson Cleland captured second with a solid lead on the rest of the pack. The third-place finish was a nail biter as the video footage needed to be reviewed in order to declare Ben Barclay the bronze medal winner.
The day ended with the open category which allowed anyone past Grade 8 to participate. There were athletes from the Coyote track club battling against athletes, some of them previous teammates, from the Saugeen track club, and there were some very brave parents on the course proving that they could still compete as well. Coyote Emmett Leary was determined to do his best for the team and ran his 3.88km race in 13.02 minutes, taking the top spot by over 30 seconds. Isabel Spence was equally determined to put on a racing clinic, and she outpaced all the other female competitors, finishing her 3.88km in 16 minutes flat. Newcomer to the Coyote team Ava Aldred raced extremely well and steadily moved herself forward in the pack, finishing comfortably in third place.
“Overall the day was an amazing success. It wasn’t just the running talent on display that wowed the crowds though. Many youth and teenagers from our community took on the responsibility of rabbiting and turtling the races, warming up and organizing racers, encouraging racers, collecting donations, and even seeking first aid when needed. They were amazing ambassadors of the spirit of sport and kindness and they displayed a genuine understanding for giving back to the community; it was a thrill to be a part of,” said the Coyotes. “Included in this spirit of giving were our many hardworking volunteers, and our long list of supporters from within the community. The race was free because we reached out to ask for help and these wonderful people responded. Many thanks go out to the Meaford Rotary Club, the Clarksburg Legion, Brian Renken Professional Corporation, Peter Morgan from the Co-operators, Eagles Weed Control & Lawn Service, A1 Toilet rentals, Godard’s Independent Grocer, Co-operators, Goldsmiths, and 13 Fourty Landscape Supplies.”
For complete race details, or to find out more about the team, please visit their website: www.georgianbaycoyotes.com.