Friday, December 2, 2022

Coyotes Take Control in Burlington

Sunday, October 16 was a beautiful, bright and sunny day in Burlington, where 25 members of the Georgian Bay Coyotes Track Club travelled to compete in the final Minor Track Association’s (MTA) Cross-Country prep meet before the Provincial championships.

The Coyotes were using this race to get a feel for this year’s competition and to help make final team selection before the biggest race of the year, which will be held in Niagara Falls. The Coyotes have been training hard all season and recently competed in their own XC race in early October, so they were well prepared for Burlington’s tough, hilly course and a higher level of competition.

The day started off with the PeeWee boys and girls 800m races. Ellis Goodman and Catrina Dedopoulos were the lone Coyotes to compete in this youngest age division. Both runners looked strong as they climbed the final hill and used the last of their energy to cross the finish line first in their divisions and claim the gold medals. In the next race, three Coyotes were on the start line in the Mite girls 1km race. Breanna Hustwitt was the first Coyote to cross the line in 5th with her two Coyote teammates not far behind.

After totalling the finishing positions of the three Coyote runners, they were declared the first place team, and each received medals for their efforts.

The next race was the Mite Boys 1km race. It was an exciting race for the Coyotes as Tobin Goodman finished 2nd to take the silver medal, Caleb Cleland finished 3rd to take the bronze medal, and Bennett Hustwitt finished 6th to round out the top three for the Coyotes, and again take the first place team medals.

The Coyotes looked strong throughout the morning and were making their presence known, with many Coyote athletes placing in the top 10 as the races progressed through the age groups. By 11:30 a.m. it was time for the Coyotes’ largest age group team to step to the line with seven boys in the Atom boys (ages 11 and 12) 2km race.

It was great to see so many local boys racing against some of the best in the province and holding their own against them,” said team coaches.

The Coyotes’ top finisher in the Atom Boys race was Bryson Cleland in 7th, followed by Jacob Martindill in 9th and Ben Barclay in 17th. With a team score of 33 after their positions were added together, the boys were able to capture another team title for the Coyotes, with each of the seven Atoms Boys receiving medals for their efforts.

With the day’s racing beginning to wind down, there were just two Coyotes left to step to the starting line. After a short delay, the lone Coyote Senior Boys runner, Emmett Leary, was ready to go. He got off to a great start and chose a smart line as they rounded the first corner and quickly settled into a comfortable pace. After 2km of the 3km race Emmett was comfortably in second place and he decided to make a break from the leader heading into the last stretch of trails. When he re-appeared on the other side, coming up the long and steep last hill, Emmett had a commanding lead and took 1st place with an unofficial new course record; 15 seconds ahead of the 2nd place finisher from Burlington and 30 seconds ahead of the 3rd place finisher from the Barrie area.

The final Coyotes runner of the day, Vani Mahajan, stepped to the starting line in the Intermediate girls 4km race. Vani, who is preparing to race in the high school Bluewater Athletics Association race later this week, was using this as a training run just to loosen up her legs and get a feeling for what she will have to do to proceed through the high school championship races. She started out quickly and calmly and soon took a commanding lead ahead of the other intermediate girls. She paced herself well and gave a solid finishing kick to claim top spot and the fourth individual gold medal for the team on the day.

After a great day of racing, the Georgian Bay Coyotes Track Club came home with six individual medals, top team medals for 14 of their athletes and 15 of their athletes finishing within the top 10 in their races. The Coyotes are now preparing for the MTA Cross-Country championships as well as the high school championships all within the next few weeks.

For full results and for details on the team please visit their website at www.georgianbaycoyotes.com

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