Monday, April 22, 2024

Coyotes Ready For Indoor Track Season

On Saturday, March 9, a small but mighty group of 14 Coyote runners ranging in age from 7 to 15 travelled to the Toronto Track and Field Centre to compete at the United Tamil Winter Classic track meet. This meet was the last of the prep meets for the indoor track season and the Coyotes who participated did so with the goal of seeing their last four months of training pay off in the form of personal bests.

The morning started with the 1200m tyke races. Madeline Armstrong and Caleb Cleland were placed on the track together as the organizers chose to combine the girls’ and boys’ races in the interest of time. Both athletes held a steady pace throughout the race and came away with strong improvements on their personal best times. Caleb easily claimed first place for his efforts and Madeline took fourth.

Next were the 1500m races where Atom girls McKenna Marshall, Avery McPhatter, and Madelyn Moores were joined by Atom boy Richard Saunders. All four Coyotes raced well. Avery managed to knock a whopping 12 seconds off her previous best time. Richard worked hard to knock 10 seconds off his personal best, and he placed first in the boys’ race. McKenna also managed to drop her time by a phenomenal 16 seconds, and she had the audience on their feet wishing for a photo finish as she and another racer battled it out right to the line. McKenna crossed just a tenth of a second after the Thorold Elite runner and was awarded second place.

The Senior 1500m race was next to the line with four Coyotes, Kate Earle, Chloe Burgess, Bryson Cleland, and Nathan Leary. It was fun to watch some team rivalry taking place over the course of their seven and a half laps. Nathan and Bryson both managed to knock four seconds off their personal best times, while Kate dropped her time by seven seconds. Bryson and Kate both earned the bronze medal in their respective sections.

The last race for the morning was the Intermediate 1500m race. River Jones toed the line with a small group of runners. After recovering from pneumonia not long prior to this race, the goal was more to learn and train for River. While River didn’t race his best time, he posted even lap splits and earned himself a second-place medal.

After the lunch break, Mite girls Adelaide Kulakowsky and Ella Cleland and Tyke boy Eli McPhatter warmed up for their 400m race. These runners had been waiting all morning for their chance to shine and they certainly did. They carefully kept in their lanes for the first full lap and then pushed hard for the second lap. Ella took second place while Adelaide took third in the girls’ race. Eli claimed fifth in the boys’ Tyke race.

By mid-afternoon, the races proceeded with the 800m. Fourteen of the Coyotes athletes chose to participate in this four-lap race. Organizers had all the girls race first for this event, so youngsters Adelaide and Ella were up to race again. Ella had pushed hard in the 400m race and showed some fatigue in this race, but she determinedly finished, putting all she had into the race. Teammate Adelaide looked confident in her pacing and she held strong through all four laps, placing first with a big smile to accompany the win.

Next it was time for the Atom girls’ team of McKenna, Avery, and Madelyn to race. Madelyn had been shy of a personal best in the morning race, but she learned a bit more about pacing from that race and was very successful in using her knowledge to knock ten seconds off her previous best 800m time. McKenna Marshall enjoyed the thrill of the chase as she worked to keep two racers within striking distance. She crossed in third place. Seniors Kate and Chloe were next to race. They both ran strong races and claimed the second and third place medals.

The boys were now ready for their chance to race. Tykes Caleb Cleland and Eli McPhatter were brought to the line looking calm and confident. Caleb took off hard and got out to an early lead. Despite having no one to chase, he pushed himself hard and ended up lapping the rest of the racers over the course of his four laps. It was exciting to see him run under the three-minute mark and claim another gold medal. Younger teammate Eli ran with the pack and did well, placing fourth.

The Atom and Senior boys’ categories were combined for the 800m race, so Richard, Bryson, and Nathan represented the Coyotes during this race. Richard went out hard and kept pace with some of the older athletes. Amazingly, he kept his pace and knocked nine seconds off his previous best time, claiming first in the Atom category. Senior Bryson Cleland also had a strong performance, knocking seven seconds off his previous best and placing third. The last Coyote racer of the day was Intermediate boy River Jones. River managed to maintain a faster pace for this shorter race. He placed third and posted a time that was closer to his personal best.

All in all, this race day was a huge success. Incredibly, the team of fifteen athletes brought home sixteen medals and matched that number in personal bests. It was a very encouraging day after a long stretch of tough training outdoors. Runners now have a month left to prepare for the Minor Track Provincial Championships,” said the team.

To find out more about the team, please check out their website at: www.georgianbaycoyotes.com

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