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WOSSAA track & Field day one

 Tight schedule fails to slow De Sousa


   The Central Elgin Titan wins the junior women's 80m hurdles and long jump

   and places second in the 100 metre sprint, at WOSSAA track and field

Thursday May 23, 2018






By Rob J. Ross 

LONDON, ON. - Tayah De Sousa may have had three events within a two hour span, but that didn't slow the Central Elgin Titan.

De Sousa won gold in both the junior women's 80-metre hurdles and long jump and placed second in the 100-metre sprint, on day one of the Western Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (WOSSAA) track and field championships, at TD Stadium.

Having her three individual events in a short time period is nothing new for the Grade 10 athlete. De Sousa adapted well during her midget season last year advancing to OFSAA, in the hurdles and long jump, finishing fourth in both events.

"I've got used to going back and forth between events. I do a little shorter of a warm-up, because running back and forth is kind of a warm-up," said De Sousa.

That's her usual routine for the hurdles and long jump. As soon as De Sousa won the hurdles in 11.96 seconds, close to the meet record of 11.80 seconds, the Titan jogged over to the long jump pit. Within a minute De Sousa was landing in the sand with an event best distance.

Clinton St. Anne's Emma Bernier pushed De Sousa with her best effort of 4.95 metres. But on her next attempt, De Sousa hit the five metre mark, the distance that would win her gold.

De Sousa wanted to jump better, but again broke 12 seconds in hurdles, her season goal. She set a personal best time of 11.66 seconds at the TVRA meet last week.

In the 100 metre heats, De Sousa had the fastest heat time of 12.79 seconds, but couldn't duplicate it in the final. Alena Ivanov, of London Lucas, won in 12.89 seconds, to De Sousa's 13.03.

Her training allows De Sousa to perform well despite the time constraints.

"She's naturally talented but she is also a very hard worker," says Harry Stantsos, who coaches De Sousa, with the St. Thomas Legion club. "She is disciplined, focused, driven and committed to her sport. She sets high goals and is willing to do all the work necessary to achieve them. She takes instruction well and always tries to execute with precision."

De Sousa completed her day anchoring the Titans' junior women's 4x100-metre relay team, to fifth place.

The top five in each event advance to the OFSAA West regional meet, May 31-June 1, in Cambridge.

Titan Hannah Onyema won junior women's discus, with a best throw of 30.70 metres.

AJ Stanat, of Parkside C.I. is a double gold medalist, winning both junior men's shot put and discus.

Stanat, the lone competitor to throw over 15 metres in shot put, had measurements of 15.05 and 15.07 centimetres. Similar for discus, Stanat threw over 50 metres three times, his best at 52.18 metres.

Last June at OFSAA, Stanat won a bronze medal in midget men's shot put.

Stampeder Michael Roth took gold in the senior men's 400 metre run, finishing one lap of the oval in 49.31 seconds.

East Elgin Eagle Hallee Knelsen cruised to first place, in the junior women's 1500 metres, finishing in 4:48.64, nine seconds ahead of the field.

Fellow Eagles Julie Nagelhout (4.93m) won midget women's long jump and has javelin and triple jump on day two, while Nathaniel Abell finished second, in the open men's two-kilometre steeplechase.

Dorchester's Owen Pink (4:18.03) and Connor Erb (4:19.47), finished second and third, respectively, in the junior men's 1500 metres. Ethan Aarts, of St. Marys DCVI, won in 4:17.03.

Parkside's Mason Basson was second, in the midget men's 1500 metres (4:22.23), followed by a pair of St. Joseph's Rams, Aiden Coles (4:26.91) and Harrison Belanger (4:28.78), in third and fourth place, respectively.

Dorchester's Josh Smith placed fourth, in the junior men's 400-meter run (54.03 seconds), behind a meet record time of 50.72 seconds, by Dylan Yzenbrandt, of London Saunders. Fellow Beaver Abbey Downing was fourth in junior women's pole vault (2.35m).

Just missing a qualifying spot for regionals, placing sixth, were Central Elgin Titan Camryn Roth, in the midget women's 100-metre sprint (13.59 sec.); St. Joseph's Ram Ethan Dolby, in the midget men's 100 metres (12.19 sec.), Parkside's Zachary Copeland, senior men's discus (36.74m).

Parkside's Jared Parkin and Brady Fodor were seventh and eighth, respectively, in senior men's discus.