The indoor Track and Field season came to an exciting end this weekend as 17 members from the Coyote track club travelled to the Toronto Track and Field Centre for the 2023 Indoor Provincial Championships.
“It has been a long season of training outdoors during inclement weather and our athletes worked hard on honing both their racing speed and their grit. With over 700 athletes from across the province registered to compete this was the largest championship meet held in recent memory,” said the club.
The weekend got off to a good start on Saturday morning, with four Coyotes competing in the 1200m races. All four athletes performed very well and came away with personal best times. Tyke girl Alba Hargreaves fought hard and came away with a notable performance and a fourth-place finish.
Immediately following the 1200m races were the 1500m races in which the Coyotes had nine athletes competing. In the Atom boys’ races, Richard Saunders started out hard and took the lead after the first turn and then settled into a very quick pace. He led his heat from start to finish and placed an impressive 4th overall. Senior boy Emmett Leary also performed well and came away with a 3rd place finish.
On Saturday afternoon, the Coyote Mite boys competed in the 400m race. It was a rough start to the afternoon as the clock was started too early when the starter tested his pistol for the first heat of the boys. As a result, Bennett Hustwitt and Eli McPhatter raced, not knowing the time to beat from the first race heat. Officials had to review the video footage following all the races in order to determine the final placements. To the Coyotes’ delight, Bennett Hustwitt came away with a gold medal and Eli McPhatter came away with a silver medal.
After a night of fun in the pool and relaxation, the Coyotes came back to the track on Sunday, hungry for some more personal bests.
All of the Coyote athletes were signed up to run in the 800m race. The Mite boys put on another great show to start the day as Bennett Hustwitt took a silver medal and Eli McPhatter took a bronze medal. Following them, Tyke girls Avery McPhatter and Breanna Hustwitt paced themselves very well, and both walked off the track with new personal best times. Breanna knocked a whopping 22 seconds off the time she set in February. Tyke boy Caleb Cleland worked hard to stay in the middle of the pack, and he finished strong, placing 8th. Chloe Burgess, one of our Atom girls, had a great day of racing, taking second in her heat and pushing herself to a new personal best by over six seconds. In the Atom boys’ race, Jacob Martindill, Richard Saunders, and Nathan Leary all put forth solid performances, all taking home new personal bests and finishing 7th, 8th and 9th. In the Senior boys’ races, there were some new faces and speeds being seen. Coyote Emmett Leary went out hard and stuck to his pace, chasing after a new runner from New Zealand who narrowly missed the provincial record which was set by Kevin Sullivan 35 years ago in 1988. Emmett came away with a new personal best and another bronze medal for his efforts. Intermediate boy Ethan Mei also ran a new personal best time and came away with a bronze medal.
Some of the Coyotes stuck around to compete in the 2000m race, a race that hasn’t been offered in over five years, primarily due to Covid. The lone Coyote Senior girl, Isabel Spence, started out hard and then maintained a very strong pace, finishing 3rd and winning her first provincial medal, while outpacing three of our four Senior boys.
“The team had four Coyote boys running in the Senior race and it was great to see them working together as a team,” said the club.
All four boys took home personal best times, with Emmett Leary winning the gold medal. Emmett had his sights set on the provincial record, and though he missed this target by a few seconds, he knocked 19 seconds off his previous best time and now owns the second fastest recorded 2000m time in Ontario Minor Track history, and the fastest time since 2012. Newcomer to the team River Jones displayed a big finishing kick to pass his teammate Bryson Cleland. They finished 4th and 5th respectively. Nathan Leary, who had gone up an age category in order to get to race this distance, finished strong in 6th place.
In all, the Coyote team had strong performances all weekend. Of the 36 events in which the Coyote athletes competed this weekend, they set new personal best times in 28 of those races along with eight provincial championship medals, plenty of top eight finishes and many priceless memories. Congratulations to all those who participated. The team is now on a two-week break and will resume training for the outdoor track season starting on Tuesday, April 18.
For a complete list of race results or to find out more about the team, check out the website at: www.georgianbaycoyotes.com