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OFSAA west regional day one

 Haliru leaps to regional high jump title


   Dorchester Beaver is one of 10 local athletes including East Elgin's relay team

   to qualify for OFSAA on day one of the two day track and field meet. 


  June 4, 2023


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By Rob J. Ross

CAMBRIDGE, Ont. - Nabeel Haliru accomplished a goal he's held since Grade nine.

The Dorchester Beaver is heading to OFSAA, the high school provincial championships, winning senior men's high jump, at OFSAA West regional track and field, June 2-3, at Jacob Hespeler Secondary school in Cambridge.

"It doesn't feel completely real right now. I'm very calm, but I'm sure on the ride home I'm going to be excited," Haliru said. "I've always wanted to go to OFSAA ever since I was in Grade nine and it just never happened with COVID and everything. So to finally get the opportunity in my senior year to go to OFSAA and getting first at OFSAA West is like a really big thing to me. I didn't think this was going to happen and I'm really glad I did."

Four athletes including Haliru made 1.88 meters, his personal best (PB), but all missed attempting 1.91 meters. Haliru took top spot with the fewest misses at previous heights. He had just one, at his opening height.

Haliru made adjustments in his technique leading up to regionals.

"I was looking at a lot of videos I took over the season and I noticed in the beginning of my jump I'm way over the bar, but I'm usually hitting it with my second half of my body," Haliru explained. "So I decided to take off a little bit further from the mat and I'm going to run a little bit faster. I moved my approach back. It just all came together today."

There may not have time to practice this upcoming week, as Haliru will be with the school's developmental education class at the Special Olympics Ontario school championships, for bocce ball, in Kingston.

"I made it to OFSAA, so that was what I ultimately wanted to do," said Haliru.

The top four in each event, advance to OFSAA, June 8-10 at the Terry Fox Complex in Ottawa.

Scott double qualifier

Henry Scott is simply impressing his relay teammates.

Scott qualified for OFSAA in two events, finishing second in the novice mens's 100-meter dash and then lifted the East Elgin Eagles' novice men's 4x100-meter relay team to second place.

"He got us second. That's what he always does", said Joey Yaw, who handed the baton to Scott for the final 100 meters.

The Eagles were in about fifth place at the final exchange, before Scott passed three teams, finishing in 46.32 seconds, a possible school record, only behind Windsor Herman's 46.07 seconds.

"When I handed it off to Joey, I stayed there watching Henry just demolish everyone," said Khanan Hernandez, who ran the second leg. "He's amazing."
East Elgin improved on their fourth place time of 47.82 seconds at WOSSAA a week earlier.

The quartet felt cleaner baton passes and a switch in postions for Yaw and Hernandez for their improved performance.

Morgan Siemans gave the Eagles momentum with a strong opening leg.

"I had a much better start than I did at WOSSAA. I felt way better about it. I felt our handoff was better between me and Khanan," said Siemens, who then watched Scott do his magic. "I went to the finish line to see who was winning and we were like fifth place and Henry got us up there to second."

Scott felt if he had a few more meters, maybe the Eagles finish first.

"I feel if it was just a little bit longer, I could have come first," Scott said. "I was catching up to those guys and I felt I had a lot of energy in me."

Earlier in the day, Scott finished second in the 100 meters at 11.71 seconds, to Nagil Asamoah of London Central, who won in 11.69 seconds.

Gordon returns

Alyssa Gordon made a crucial jump on her third attempt at 1.55 meters, earning a return trip tp OFSAA.

The Grade 11 Parkside Stampeder set a PB making 1.55 meters, finishing fourth in senior women's high jump.

"I'm very excited. I didn't think I was going to make it," said Gordon, who placed 10th last year at OFSAA in the junior division. "I'm really happy to PB. One point five five is something I didn't think would ever happen. I didn't think I would accomplish that, especially this year."

Seven competitors remained when the bar was raised to 1.55 meters, before three were eliminated at the height. Gordon focused on making her final attempt, knowing it would send her to OFSAA.

"I was almost top four and it was my last jump, so I'm going to give it everything I have," Gordon said. "I won't have to jump again after this (if miss), but maybe I do, but this is the jump that matters. It feels good. I'm going to OFSAA."

Her goal in Ottawa is making 1.58 meters.

Four additional athletes qualified for OFSAA on day one of regionals, including three of Haliru's Dorchester teammates.

Kirk Hallman set a novice men's school record, finishing fourth in a time of four minutes and 17.11 seconds (4:17.11), four seconds faster than Greg Wieczorek's time set in 1997.

Andrew Urquhart qualified in novice men's shot put placing fourth with a toss of 12.97 meters. Urquhart was also sixth in javelin with a throw of 38.61 meters.

Evan Stevens was fourth in junior men's pole vault, clearing a PB 3.25 meters.

St. Joe's Noah Pollnow placed fourth in senior men's discus with best throw of 36.83 meters.

Local round-up

Parkside's Merrick Rollins just missed qualifying placing fifth in junior men's discus (45.18m). Same for Dorchester's Tegan Ceccanese in the open women's steeplechase (PB 7:41.96).

Dorchester's Mya Steller was sixth in the junior women's 80-meter hurdles (12.90 sec.), while St. Joe's Mara Kemmerling finished ninth (13.35 sec.).

Dorchester's Sam Willsie set a school record in the senior men's 400-meter dash, finishing seventh in 51.05 seconds.

Jadyn Luna of Thorndale, with Medway high school, finished sixth in the senior women's 100-meter hurdles final (15.67 sec.).

St. Joe's Shalem Hernandaz placed sixth, in junior men's shot put (14.36m), while teammate David Anderson was seventh, in senior men's discus (36.83m).

Dorchester's Fernando Medina and Ryan Johnson, finished eighth (4:23.48) and 13th (4:28.22), respectively, in the junior men's 1500m.

Dorchester's Ryan Pranger placed ninth in novice men's javelin (36.55m) and teammate Luke Bradish was 11th in junior men's triple jump (11.45m).

Parkside's Zachary Roberts-Neef placed 10th in the open men's 2000 meter steeplechase (6:59.04), while Alexis Gray finished 13th, in the junior women's 400 meters (1:03.41).






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