"So happy I got to experience this," after PB effort at Ontario Summer Games
July 25, 2022
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - Libby McCurdy is an Ontario Summer Games champion.
The 15-year old from St. Thomas won U16 women's pole vault, with a personal best jump of 2.80 metres, during the Athletics competition, Saturday, in Mississauga.
"I had the time of my life. I was so happy with the height I jumped and Summer Games was so much fun and I made so many friends," McCurdy said. "I've honestly never jumped so good in my life, but I think I do better under pressure."
McCurdy increased her PB by 15 centimetres, up from the 2.65 metres the St. Joseph's high school student cleared at OFSAA, the high school provincial championships, where she won the novice women's silver medal.
At that time, in early June, McCurdy, a retired gymnast, had only been vaulting for about a month. Now she continues to train with coach Rachael Wolfs, at London-Western club.
"I've went up on to bigger poles and going to more practices and just trying my best," McCurdy said, about her improvement.
McCurdy also placed eighth in long jump (4.29 metres) and was part of a 4x100-metre relay team that finished seventh (54.65 seconds).
Along with the gold medal, McCurdy brings home memories and new friendships from the Games.
"Socializing with all the athletes was so much fun," McCurdy said. "I made a lot of friends that I'll see at other meets which is super exciting, as well as meeting all the coaches who were so supportive."
Up next for McCurdy, are Athletics Ontario U16 championships, July 29-31, at Western University, in London.
Then it's the Legion Youth Nationals, in Sherbrooke, Quebec, August 5 to 7.
Sawyer catches gold
Lexie Sawyer, of St. Thomas, won a gold medal with the D1 Nationals, in U17 softball, Sunday, at the Dunton Athletic Fields, in Mississauga.
"It was an unreal experience," said Sawyer, a catcher and middle infielder. "It feels great that our hard work that we've put in all year has paid off."
Sawyer and her teammates defeated Etobicoke Mayhem, 4-1, for the gold medal, completing an undefeated run at the Games.
D1, coached by St. Thomas resident Courtney Gilbert, won five games and tied one.
Only the Fury, a team that went winless, managed to score more one run against D1, knotting a game up at four. D1 only allowed eight runs all tournament, while scoring 39.
"Our team has unbelievable team chemistry, as we always find a way to pick each other up and dig deep in big situations,' said Sawyer. "We experienced some unexpected illnesses and really had to work with what we were given, but we always find a way to push through."
Sawyer is student at Parkside Collegiate.
Friends share memory
Four friends who all attend Lord Dorchester Secondary school, brought home a bronze medal in midget male box lacrosse.
Connor Zavitz, Nolan Candy, Tyson Currah, all from Dorchester and Greyson Turner, of Thorndale, helped London defeat Clarington, 6-3, in the bronze medal game, Sunday, in Mississauga.
"It feels unreal to have scored three goals in a game," said Zavitz, who scored three times in the bronze game. "We all worked hard as a team to get to this point. Having such amazing coaches to guide us through the season. I will never forget this unbelievable experience."
All four players are heading into Grade 11 at LDSS.
"We have played together for so many years and it feels awesome to have shared it with them," added Zavitz.
London went 5-3 through the preliminary round, with two of the losses being against Oshawa and Orangeville, the gold and silver medalists.
"It was truly a honour to be a part of a special team," Candy said. "Doing it with the guys I've been with my whole life, just makes it that much better."
Around the Games
Christine Annett, of St. Thomas and Jordan Gee, from Dorchester, were members of the London Lightning team that went 3-3, in U17 women's softball.
"The games were an incredible experience," said Annett. "They exceeded expectations and provided a great opportunity to play against some strong competition."
Georgia Brown, of Thorndale, was on Team Southwest, for U15 female 7-a-side rugby.
"It was a great experience, especially meeting all of the rugby players from around Ontario and getting to talk to them and play against them," said Brown. "I will definitely remember the experience of playing against girls with more rugby experience. It definitely helped me and my team improve our skills and game knowledge."
Mike Roth and Hallee Knelsen, both placed second, in their events, at the Canadian Track and Field League championship, in Ottawa, July 20.
Roth, of St. Thomas, was second, in the men's 400-metre dash, finishing in 47.91 seconds.
Knelsen, of Malahide, was runner-up, in the women's 800-metres (2:09.91), behind her University of Western Mustangs teammate, Sophie Coutts (2:09.64).
Dylen Belanger, of St. Thomas, finished sixth, in the men's 400-metre hurdles.
All three athletes, along with Tayah DeSousa, who did not compete in long jump, due to injury, train with St. Thomas Legion club.
Knelsen, Roth and DeSousa, each were overall season winners for their respective events, accumulating points from four meets, including the championship.
The league launched this year with four teams and 128 athletes, providing cash prizes for the athletes.
The Bears won the team title, splitting a $1000 prize.
Brianna Rand, of Dorchester, won the women's 100-metre hurdles (13.00 sec.) at the Sabrescats Twilight meet two, July 18, at Medway high school, in Arva.
Jadyn Luna, of Thorndale, finished third (13.15 sec.) in the 100-metre hurdles and sixth in long jump (4.79m).
A.J. Stanat was third in men's discus (43.64m).
Dylen Belanger and Mason Basson, of Sparta, placed fourth (51.40 sec.) and fifth (51.61 sec.), respectively, in the men's 400-metre dash.
Riley Knelsen finished fourth, in the women's 1200 metre run (5:00.40), Jeremy Hardeman, ninth, in the men's 1500-metre run (4:38.8), Emma Westbrook, 11th, in women's long jump (4.46m) and David Anderson, 11th, in men's discus (29.13m).