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Five capture AO U20 indoor medals

 AO medals for five local track athletes


   Brothers Aiden and Tristan Coles capture medals in the 1500 and 4x8 relay 

   while Dorchester's McIntyre brings home silver in the 800 and 1500


  April 13, 2022


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By Rob. J. Ross 

ST. THOMAS - It may have been a championship meet, but for five local runners it was about preparing for the outdoor season.

Brothers Aiden and Tristan Coles, Hannah McIntyre, Brianna Rand and Jadyn Luna, closed out the 2022 indoor season, with medal performances, at Athletics Ontario U20 indoor track championships, at the Toronto track and field centre, April 9-10.

The meet usually four to five weeks earlier in the year, was pushed back due to the COVID pandemic.

Aiden and Tristan finished one-two, in the men's 1500 metres and then joined brothers Heath and Ian McAllister to destroy the field, in the men's 4x800-metre relay race, winning in 7:55.85.

"I'll give it a B, B-plus. We all ran really well. We were happy with the result," said Aiden, of the relay. The team did have to scramble somewhat after Ian misplaced his spikes and singlet and had to find replacements.

"That was a little bit hectic, but Ian got us off to a good start," Aiden said. Ian handed the baton to Tristan, with the team in second place.

"I went out hard the first lap and then our coach told me to just work it up through each lap," Tristan said. "I caught him on my last lap and started gapping him a little bit, for Heath's leg."

By the time Aiden had the baton, London-Western was well ahead and lapping U16 teams who were in the same race.

Aiden took gold in the 1500 finishing in 3:54.59, followed by Tristan (3:56.86) and Heath McAllister (3:58.35), making it a sweep of the medals for London-Western.

"I let Heath do all the work," Aiden said. "Thanked him after the race, because if it weren't for that, I don't think I would have been 3:54 because it's hard leading the whole race and I'm sure Heath felt that having to do it."

The Coles are looking forward to the high school season with St. Joe's, after the past two years were cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.

"Especially for me because I missed my Grade nine season with a concussion," Tristan said. "We're going to go for some really quick times, but this season is all about being able to run championship racing. I'm really excited about it."

Both brothers are planning to run the 1500 and 3000 metre races.

Aiden hopes to return to OFSAA where in 2019, he won a bronze medal in the novice men's 3000 metres and this year have his brother join him.

"I know OFSAA is an atmosphere I I never experienced before at a track meet," said Aiden. "I remember my race and being wowed by how many people were in the stands. It was an unreal atmosphere. I feel bad Tristan hasn't experienced it yet, but it's looking promising for him being able to this year."

Double silver

Hannah McIntyre, of Dorchester ran to silver medals in both the women's 800 and 1500-metre (4:47.48) races.

"I thought I ran really well. I wasn't sure how I would respond to not racing in so long," McIntyre said. "In the 1500, I felt really good, so that will give me lots of confidence moving forward. I didn't run a super terrible time either. There was never a point in that race where I was completely dead. I kicked too early and someone caught me, so there was a few tactical errors in the race."

The 17-year old Lord Dorchester student took the lead with one 200-metre lap remaining, but Newmarket's Caroline Ash caught McIntyre on the final bend, taking the gold medal in 4:46.48.

"I was pleased with how relaxed she was when she was racing," coach James Tennant said. "She was the smoothest person in the race. Since the race wasn't that fast, her time wasn't as fast as she is capable of doing. She looked well within herself which was nice to see. If it had been a faster race, I think she would have ran a personal best time."

McIntyre finished the 800 in a near PB time of 2:17.81, behind Amelia Dodds' 2:13.47.

"(Dodds) got out to a pretty big gap and Hannah didn't go with her. She stayed within the pack," Tennant said. "The race wasn't that fast in the middle part, so she was within herself again. I was pleased with how she ran." 

For McIntyre, her only indoor meet of the season was an improvement over last fall.

"My cross country season was a disappointment for me. I was training well but I was having some serious confidence issues and I just couldn't get a good race out of me, so it felt good to run two well raced races on the weekend," McIntyre said. "Before I was so time oriented it would throw me off in championship races, because I was so focused on running a certain time, but this weekend was one of the first times I just focused on racing and the time would come second."

McIntyre holds the AO U16 girls record for the 2000-metres, at 6:41.38, set in 2019.

Rand, of Dorchester, with London-Western, won bronze, in the women's 60-metre hurdles, finished eighth, in the 400-metre dash (1:03.41) and 13th, in the 60-metre dash (8.19 sec.)

Luna, of Thorndale, helped London-Western's women's 4x800-metre relay team take the bronze medal. Luna also finished fifth, in the 200-metre dash and sixth, in the 60-metre hurdles.

DeSousa twice top six

Tayah DeSousa, with Long Beach University, in California, placed in the top six twice, at the Challenge Cup track and field meet, April 9, in Los Angeles.

The freshman from St. Thomas, landed fourth in women's long jump (5.58 metres) and sixth, in the 100-metre hurdles (14.56 seconds).

A week earlier, at the West Coast Relays, April 1, DeSousa finished 10th in the 100m hurdles (14.78 sec.) and placed 17th in long jump (5.26m).





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