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AO Open and U18 provincials

 Five bring home provincial hardware


   Jadyn Luna of Thorndale and Dorchester's Nabeel Haliru medal twice

   at Athletics Ontario Open and U18 indoor championships


  February 14, 2023


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By Rob J. Ross

TORONTO, Ont. - Five athletes from Elgin County and Thames Center brought home hardware from Athletics Ontario open and U18 indoor championships, over the weekend at the Toronto track and field centre.

Jadyn Luna won a gold medal, with London-Western's open women's 1600-meter medley relay team and a silver medal, in open women's long jump (5.10 meters). The Thorndale resident set personal best (PB) marks in each of her three individual events, including finishing fourth, in the 60-meter hurdles (9.50 seconds) and eighth in the 200-meter dash (27.70 sec.).

"I'm really happy with how it went. I PB'd in all of my events and in hurdles I PB'd twice," Luna said. "I treated this meet as a practice because the pent was over and that was what I was most stressed about."

Two weeks ago, Luna won the U20 women's pentathlon with a personal best points total, at the provincial multi events championships.

"I came here just for the practice for everything and try to get PBs. I wasn't too concerned about my placing," Luna said. "I think nerves get the best of me, so this timeI was a little bit more relaxed and not concerned with how everyone else was doing."

Paige Marchant, Erika Lealess and Raeden Black, joined Luna for the relay.

"We were happy with our relay," said Luna. "None of us have ran as a team before and we just put it together this week."

Next for Luna are the U20 provincials, March 4-5 and possibly the pentathlon at the Canadian indoor championships, March 18-19 in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Nabeel Haliru, from Dorchester, won silver in open men's triple jump (11.33m) and bronze, in high jump (1.80), with indoor personal bests in both events.

The Grade 12 student at Lord Dorchester secondary school, did face some challenges with form and only had one jump over 10 meters, heading in to the final round.

"The track was different from what I'm used to, so it was a struggle just trying to get my run up correct. But once I got it on my last jump, it felt really good," said Haliru. "I shortened my steps a bit to make sure I got on the board. My other steps I was nowhere near the board."

In high jump, Haliru tied for second best height, but placed third having one more miss in the competition.

"Overall, I am pretty satisfied with this weekend," Haliru said.

Sparta's Libby McCurdy took silver, in U18 women's pole vault (2.90m), just short of her PB height of 3.05 meters attempting three meters.

Matthew Piekny, of St. Thomas, leaped to bronze, in U18 boys' pole vault (3.75m).

Lynsey Last, of St. Thomas, grabbed a bronze, in open women's long jump, with a personal best effort of 4.91 meters. Last also placed 10th, in the 400-meter run, 16th, in the 200 meter dash (29.26 sec.) and 28th, in the 60-meter dash (8.73 sec.).

"It felt pretty great actually," said Last, on her first ever AO medal. "I loved helping my team and my mom started crying, lol. It was nice seeing some results after being injured all summer."

Last led a team of six athletes from the St. Thomas Legion Club, coached by Harry Stantsos.

Emma Westbrook, in the U18 women division, was eighth in shot put (9.12), ninth, in high jump (1.40m) and 15th, in long jump (4.43m).

"It was decent. I equalled everything out. Like in shot put I basically threw my PB and high jump, I jumped my PB," Westbrook said. "The whole meet, I was doing this but not this and then the next one (round) it was the opposite. I just need to put it all together and then it will all be there. I was hoping to do a little better, but I'm not disappointed."

Westbrook will continue to compete in heptathlons this summer.

Fletcher Taylor, U18 men, eighth, high jump (1.55m), 15th, long jump (4.98m), 62nd, 60m dash (8.46 sec.); Fox Gray, open men, 14th, 200m (23.96 sec.), 20th, 400m (1:07.4); Alexis Gray, U18 women, 33rd, 400m (1:07.40), 61st, 200m (29.77 sec,); Lauren Geddes, 18U women, 82nd, in the 60m dash.


Other local results:

Evan Stevens (Thorndale), U18 boys, fifth, 1600m medley relay race, 37th, 200m (25.26 sec.), 49th, 60m (7.79 sec.); Ryan Johnson (Thorndale), U18 men, 24th, 3000m (10:22.4), 48th, 800m (2:18.26); Ty Emre (St. Thomas), U18 men, 25th, 3000 meters (10:26.6).

Windsor Challenge

A.J. Stanat, from St. Thomas, competing with the host Windsor Lancers, placed fifth, in both men's shot put (14.49m) and weight throw (14.40m), at the Windsor Challenge indoor track and field meet, at the University of Windsor, Feb 10-11.

Brianna Rand, of Dorchester, competing with the Western Mustangs was sixth, in women's triple jump (11.62m) and 13th, in the 6-meter hurdles (9.28 sec.).

Claireese Coffey, of St. Thomas, with the Mustangs, placed seventh, in women's long jump (5.15m) and 14th, in triple jump (10.37m).

Shedden's Brody Fodor, with the Mustangs, was eighth, in men's shot put (12.89m).


Boston Valentine

Hallee Knelsen, of Malahide, finished 20th, in the women's 1000 meter run (2:51.81), at the Valentine Indoor track and field Invitational meet, at Boston University, Feb. 10.






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