Stevens, Kana and Scott all won with personal best efforts while McCurdy
made her coach sweat on day two on OFSAA West regional track and field
June 5, 2023
By Rob J. Ross
CAMBRIDGE, Ont. - Evan Stevens and Taylor Kana share something in common.
The two junior javelin throwers set personal best (PB) marks winning their events to advance to the 2023 OFSAA track and field championships.
Stevens, Kana, along with pole vaulter Libby McCurdy and sprinter Henry Scott, were event winners on day two of OFSAA West regional track and field June 3 at Jacob Hespeler Secondary school in Cambridge.
The four athletes move on to the high school provincial meet, at the Terry Fox Complex, June 8-10 in Ottawa.
Stevens set a Dorchester Beavers' school record, breaking 50 meters for his first time, winning junior men's javelin with a throw of 52.29 meters.
"It's exciting. I haven't been breaking 50 (meters) all year and first throw today broke it, so I was able to relax and I'm really excited to go back," said Stevens, who won OFSAA silver a year ago in the novice men's division. "A good series of throws for me. The wind died down on my first two throws (both over 50), but after that it was brutal," said Stevens. "I was hoping to qualify. That's all I wanted to to do, but the PB helps a lot too. It's good confidence heading into OFSAA."
Kana improved her PB winning junior women's javelin by over four meters, with a throw of 42.74 meters, sending the East Elgin Eagle back to OFSAA.
"I was going to be pretty upset if I didn't make it,' said Kana, who won a bronze medal in the novice women's competition a year ago at OFSAA, held at York University.
At regionals, Kana faced tough competition including Kaitlyn Pepper, last year's OFSAA novice women's champion and Abby Findlay, a fastball pitcher Kana has trouble hitting while batting for the D1 Nationals.
"I was nervous because I was going against (Pepper), but then I started settling in and it got to a point where me and Pepper were going against each other," Kana said. "My last throw was the one."
Kana is looking forward to the trip to the nation's capital.
"I'm hoping to do well in Ottawa," said Kana. "I've made lot of improvements from last year. I've gotten a lot stronger and my form is better. I'm more consistent too."
Libby McCurdy almost had her coach Rachael Wolfs fainting.
The St. Joseph's Rams' pole vaulter missed her first two attempts at 2.95 in the junior women's competition, before making the height on her third and final attempt.
McCurdy recovered going on to finish first clearing 3.15 meters, just under her PB of 3.20 meters.
"What happened was I put her on a bigger pole at 2.95 for her first two attempts," said Wolfs. "So her third I put her back down on a smaller pole, but I knew with the big tailwind that the pole may or may not work for that height, but after calming her down the competitiveness came back out for Libby and she got over it."
Making 2.95 gave a McCurdy not only a spot at OFSAA, but strengthens her resolve for future meets.
"I think it was good for her to experience that little bit of competition, because for most of her season she hasn't had much," Wolfs said. "I'm very proud of her for pulling out of that slump, in a matter of two minutes to get the job done. Not a lot of athletes can do that."
McCurdy couldn't increase her PB attempting 3.25 meters, but that is the goal at OFSAA.
Scott capped his incredible two day meet off by winning the novice men's 200-meter dash in 24.02 seconds.
"I got a perfect start and by 50 meters full speed, maintained it and went hard down the last 100 meters," said the East Elgin Eagle. "I felt tired. Usually I feel I still have a lot more in the tank, but this time I ran it all out.
On day one, Scott finished second in the 100 meter dash, sixth in long jump and led the Eagles' novice men's 4x100-meter relay team to second place.
Scott will have three events at OFSAA. Not bad for starting the season competing in regular running shoes.
Four additional hometownplay athletes are moving on to the provincial meet.
St. Joe's Matt Piekny placed second in senior men's pole vault (3.75m).
Piekny and McCurdy are two of five vaulters Wolfs will be coaching at OFSAA. Abby Blais (London Aquinas) placed second in junior women and Payton Serraglio (Aquinas) and Sophia Bryenton (London Oakridge), finished two-three in the senior women's event.
Jadyn Luna of Thorndale, with Medway high school, won silver in women's shot put (11.27m), with just two throws. Luna missed the remainder of the event (four throws) to run the 200-meter sprint final, placing sixth (26.80 sec.).
Kirk Hallman qualified for OFSAA in his second event, winning silver in the novice men's 3000 meter run (9:45.34). The Dorchester Beaver was fourth in the 1500 meters on day one.
Dorchester's Hannah McIntyre finished fourth, in
the senior women's 800-meter run (2:17.63).
St. Joe's Rams Flourish Nmor missed a qualifying position by one position, finishing sixth, in the novice women's 800 meters (2:27.66).
Dorchester's Ryan Johnson and Fernando Medina finished fifth (9:34.03) and seventh (9:36.05), respectively, in the junior men's 3000 meters.
East Elgin's Darah Farrow was sixth in junior women's javelin with a PB of 32.87 meters and 13th in high jump, while Keenan Friesen placed sixth, in junior men's high jump (1.75m) and Morgan Siemens, 12th in the novice men's 200-meter dash (25.32 sec.).
Three Central Elgin Titans placed eighth in their respective novice events, Dollan Brown, in men's discus (36.41m), Fletcher Taylor, men's high jump (1.55m) and Janay Gillard, women's discus (24.36m).
Dorchester's Mya Steller finished eighth, in the junior women's 300-meter hurdles (49.93 sec.), while Natalie Woods, was 12th, in the senior women's 400 hurdles (1:14.80), Luke Bradish, 12th, in junior men's high jump (1.65m), Devan Lucas, 16th, junior men's 300-meter hurdles (44.81 sec.) and Ryan Pranger, 13th, novice men's triple jump (10.86m).
St. Joseph's Rams Ty Emre finished 10th in the junior men's 3000m (9:51.86), David Anderson and Noah Pollnow placed 11th (12.41m) and 13th (11.47m), respectively, in senior men's shot put, Donny Sachse was 12th, in senior men's high jump (1.65m) and Connor Crosby, 13th in the junior men's 800 meters (2:12.39).
Parkside Stampeders Olivia Sutton finished 10th, in the junior women's 800-meters (2:34.14), Merrick Rollins, 13th in junior men's javelin (38.81m) and Nathan Alden, 15th, junior men's long jump (5.02m).
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