By Rob J. Ross
Thursday, February 16, 2017
LONDON, Ont. - Kayla Keyes will be kept busy at OFSAA.
The Grade ten St. Joseph's student qualified in each of her four events, at the Western Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (WOSSAA) swimming championships, held at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre.
OFSAA, the provincial high school meet, hits the pool, March 7-8 in Windsor.
Keyes won the high school 14 and under girls' division 50-metre freestyle (31.08 seconds) and placed second in the 50m butterfly and the 100m free.
"I'm really, really excited because it's a great experience and I love being with everyone and we all have a sense of community," Keyes said.
Keyes, along with Breanne Bonter, Haeley Demeray and Madison Morin, finished second (2:32.51), in the high school senior girls' 200-metre medley relay.
"(The relay) went amazing. “We had so much energy. I had a feeling by all the energy we all had, we could (qualify)," Keyes said. "We got disqualified at TVRA because of a malfunction. We wanted to prove ourselves that we are good and we could make it to OFSAA."
In their individual races, Bonter finished third, 50m free, sixth, 100m free; Morin, fourth, 50m backstroke, 15th, 50m free and Demeray, fourth, 50m back, fifth, 50 fly, 11th, 50 free.
Keyes, who swam for the Aylmer Optimists Arrows (AOA) club up until high school, has her sights on making the podium at OFSAA.
"I want to try to get a medal."
A year ago at OFSAA, Keyes finished 11th in the 100 free and 12th in the 50 free.
Mac Watson is Parkside CI's golden boy, winning a trio of races.
The 13-year old won the high school 14 and under boys' 50-metre free (26.97 seconds), 50m fly (29.44 sec.) and 100m free (1:01.06).
“I feel fast. I haven't been training the hardest but I will be for OFSAA. The goal was just to get to OFSAA, but now the goal is to get first,” Watson said. “There are still some things I need to work on, like my break out, my dive in. Just need to improve the little things.”
Watson, whose family owns a cattle and cash crop farm just outside of St. Thomas, started swimming with the St. Thomas Jumbo Jets. He swam at the London Aquatic Centre the past two years, before quitting club swimming prior to high school, in order to try other sports.
Watson was part of the Parkside Stampeder junior football team, that won the TVRA consolation championship in November.
His two younger sisters, Ruby and Stella, swim for the Jumbo Jets.
Cloe Seliga, of Lord Dorchester, qualified in all three of her races, the open women's 50-metre free, 100m fly and the 100m I.M.
The 15-year old returns to OFSAA, after placing 17th in the 50 fly and 27th in the 50 free, last year.
Julia McCord, of St. Joseph's, placed eighth in the 100-metre free and 10th, 50m fly.
Leading the East Elgin Eagles' results were Maggie Zimmer, 10th, in the Open girls' 200-metre free and Brianna Cunningham, 10th, in the open girls' 100m back. Zimmer, Cunningham, Sarah Smith and Victoria McMillan, were part of the Eagles' open girls' 400-metre relay team, that finished fifth.
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