Local athletes among the best in the province at OFSAA track and field
Friday June 7, 2018
By Rob J. Ross
TORONTO, ON. - Local athletes had six top 10 performances on day two of the OFSAA track and field championships.
Central Elgin Titan Tayah DeSousa finished fourth, setting a personal best (PB) time of 12.35 seconds, in the midget women's 80-metre hurdles, her second runner-up to the podium performance at the meet. On day one of OFSAA, De Sousa landed fourth in long jump.
St. Joseph's Ram Liam Clark was sixth in a talented field (14.69 seconds), for the senior men's 110-metre hurdles final.
"I went in knowing that I wasn't going to medal. I was going in trying to run my best race," said Clark. "It was nerve-wracking, but in end I'm happy with it. It wasn't the best race I've ever run, but it wasn't a bad race. It was a good race for the situation I was in."
Hitting a two hurdles with his trail foot, did cost Clark time.
Up next for Clark is his stronger event, the 400-metre hurdles, on Saturday.
"It would be nice to get a medal, but I'll be in the end I'd be happy with a really big PB," Clark said.
Parkside Stampeder Anij Sparenberg was seventh, in junior women's discus, with a best throw of 32.12 metres. A year ago, as a midget competitor, Sparenberg finished sixth in the event.
"I threw better than last week (at regionals), so I'm happy about that. I wanted to PB, but there is always next time," said Sparenberg, who has thrown the discus over 36 metres. "It would have been nice to get on to the podium, but even coming to OFSAA is a great opportunity."
East Elgin Eagle Hallee Knelsen finished seventh, in the midget women's 1500 metres, with a personal best time of 4:19.10.
"I'm definitely satisfied. My goal was to break 4:50 this (calendar year) and I've already done it during school season," Knelsen said. "It was a tight, tight group and I had to run a lot in lanes two and three. Everyone was getting jostled around. I got spiked too."
It was somewhat of a leisurely pace, until the bell lap, when a pack of six runners broke away, including the eventual winner, Abby Ylipahkala, from Newmarket.
"It was crazy. We were on the same pace as (heats) until the last 400, then everyone just started going," said Knelsen, adding with a laugh. "I didn't want to take the lead and do all of the work in front. I could have, but I would not have lasted, the way they busted out!"
Knelsen returns to the track on Saturday for the 800 metre run.
Central Elgin Titan Hayden Bell placed eighth, in the senior men's high jump, clearing 1.90 metres, bowing out attempting 1.95 metres, one centimetre lower than his PB.
"I wish I could have jumped higher but that's OK. I'm happy that I came here and got to compete," said Bell. "I was feeling alright. It was just a miss (attempting 1.95)."
Bell will now focus on competing in the decathlon, including the upcoming Athletics Canada Junior Nationals, in Ottawa. His recent success in high jump is encouraging, as it is one of the decathlon's 10 events.
"I'm glad I'm consistently jumping higher heights. That'll be important."
Titans' Hannah Onyema, was 10th, in midget women's shot put (11.11 metres). Onyema throws the discus on Saturday.
Dorchester's Leaha Johnston just missed the top 10, placing 12th, in midget women's javelin (28.41 metres).
Parkside Stampeder Arthur Stanat, who won a bronze medal on Thursday, in midget men's shot put, throws discus on Saturday.
Also competing on the third and final day of the meet, is Lord Dorchester Beaver Owen Pink, in the midget men's 3000 metres.