On Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14, Athletics Ontario hosted a selection meet for the Ontario versus Quebec Dual Meet which will be held in February. Racers who placed in the top few positions at this selection meet could be given the opportunity to race for Team Ontario in a month’s time.
The event took place at the Toronto Track and Field Centre, the indoor track at York University. Despite the stormy weather in Grey Bruce, two of the Georgian Bay Coyotes high school runners made the trek to participate in the event.
On Saturday, Isabel Spence and Emmett Leary laced up and raced the 2,000m, completing 10 laps of the 200m track. The racers were put into heats of mixed ages based on their times. Isabel and Emmett had not raced this event since February of 2023, and as a result they both ended up running in heats with very little competition. Racing the clock, they both worked on their pacing, aiming for even lap splits. Both knocked over 10 seconds off their previous personal best times and easily won their heats. Overall, Isabel placed ninth in her age category and Emmett placed fourth.
On Sunday, both Coyotes took part in the 800m races with the hope to break out fast and hold on for a strong finish. Both Isabel and Emmett got themselves into the fastest heat for this race, which made for some more tactical racing. Isabel got off to a good start and held onto the lead pack, out-sprinting one of the girls at the end and placing a well-earned sixth place while capturing another personal best. Emmett had a strong first two laps to his race, but then found himself neck and neck with a long-time rival who decided to give him a few bumps on the corner in order to get past Emmett heading into the third lap. Emmett kept his focus on the race but was disappointed to cross the line half a second off his personal best.
Overall it was a very positive start to the season for both Isabel and Emmett and the races provided an excellent chance to see how their training was going in comparison to their competitors. Now these two very dedicated runners will continue the gruelling work of putting in the easy miles, speed work, and strength training in order to make gains before their next races.
For more information about the team, please visit www.georgianbaycoyotes.com.