Top-10 finishes for Seaway athletes at Ontario qualifying meet.
OTTAWA – A small contingent from Seaway District High School ventured to the East Regional track and field championships May 26th, looking to earn their spot in the OFSSA provincial championships in Belleville.
Three competitors from Seaway earned a spot at the East Regional meet, held at a familiar venue this season, the Terry Fox track and field facility in Ottawa. Competing for Seaway was Erika Jordan in the 1500-metre women’s open steeplechase event; Kaitlyn Stewart in the women’s senior triple jump event; and Maggie Wells in the women’s senior shot put and the women’s senior discus events.
Jordan, a Grade 9 student at Seaway, entered the 1500-metre steeplechase having won silver in the event at the EOSSAA championships the previous week, and the county championship the week before.
“Going into the race, she knew she was going to have the toughest challenge at this level,” said Robin Gibbs, coach of the school’s track and field team.
Jordan completed her race at EOSSAA in 5:41.56 minutes, her fastest this season and personal best.
Facing off against competitors from Central Ontario, EOSSAA, and the National Capital, Jordan improved her time by nearly four seconds. She finished the race in 5:37.83 minutes, placing 8th out of the field of 16 runners. Winning the race was Sadie-Jane Hickson from Lindsay Collegiate and Vocational Institute with a time of 5:07.95 minutes. The top four runners in the event move on to the OFSSA provincial championships. Jordan finished 22 seconds out of the top-four.
“She ran an incredible race in an open race competing against mostly Grade 11 and 12 students and one Grade 13.” said Gibbs. “Eighth at East Regionals for a Grade 9 athlete is a great result.”
For triple jump athlete Stewart, this year marked the fourth year she qualified for the event, this was her second time in the women’s senior level. The Grade 12 student graduates in June, finishing her high school athletics career.
A silver medalist at EOSSAA in the event, Stewart entered a strong field at the East Regionals.
“From first to eighth, any one of them could have gotten first,” said Gibbs.
In the final results, 80 centimetres separated first from eighth. The event was won by Claire Millard from Loyalist Collegiate in Kingston.
Stewart’s best jump in the event was 10.56 metres, nine centimetres longer than her EOSSAA qualifier and a full 35 centimetres longer than her county championship jump.
Her jump at East Regionals resulted in a seventh place finish out of 15 competitors.
“She did great, but it was such a tough field,” said Gibbs.
Teammate and fellow women’s senior athlete Wells is also in Grade 12 and was competing in her last year of high school athletics.
Wells qualifed at EOSSAA in fifth with a 9.35 metre throw for the event. She was silver medalist in the county championship with a 8.92 metre throw.
At the East Regional event, Wells threw for 9.06 metres, resulting in 10th place out of a field of 14 competitors.
“It wasn’t a great day for the event, but she has done well all season and got to this level, which is great,” said Coach Gibbs.
Wells faired better in the discus throw event, with a heartbreaking finish in the final throw.
Leading up to East Regionals, she won the county championship two weeks before with a 25.98-metre throw. She built on that success with a 27.77-metre throw at EOSSAA, landing her in the fifth and final spot at East Regionals.
Going into the final round of the event, Wells had been moving between fourth and fifth with East Northumberland’s Kirsten Bevaart. Wells threw a 30.43 metre throw, which put her back into fourth place, and a spot at the provincial championships. It was her best throw of the season.
Bevaart was up next for the last throw of the event. Her 30.77 metre throw beat Wells, who finished fifth in the 16 competitor field.
“She was so close,” said Gibbs. “It was that final throw and finished it.”
Gibbs added that all of the competitors had great seasons and he was looking forward to next season.