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McCaw OFSAA champion

Rosie McCaw swims to OFSAA gold 


 A PB time carries the Parkside Stampeder to the top of the 100 I.M. podium 

  and East Elgin Eagles Emma Beggs wins bronze in the open 200 I.M.


 March 2, 2023



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Rosie McCaw with her OFSAA gold medal for the junior women's 100-meter individual medley (I.M.), at the high school provincial swimming championships, March 1 at the International Aquatic and Training Centre in Windsor. (photo / courtesy Briar McCaw)



By Rob J. Ross 

WINDSOR, Ont. - Rosie McCaw is an OFSAA champion.

The Grade 10 athlete with the Parkide Stampeders won the junior women's 100-meter individual medley (I.M.) at OFSAA, the high school provincial championships Wednesday, at the International Aquatic and Training Centre.

"I'm kind of in shock right now," McCaw said a few hours after the race. "It feels like it didn't even happened. It's all a blur, but it feels amazing right now. All of my friends are texting me. All of my teachers have been sending me e-mails."

McCaw finished in a personal best time of one minute and 18.69 seconds (1:18.69) in a photo finish, with Nicole Soliman, of Gonzaga, second (1:18.72) and Dana Haawitt of Trinity College, third (1:18.91)

"It was a very close race. The top three, we all swam 1:18s. It was a matter of the milliseconds," said McCaw. "I knew there were girls right beside me. It was a very tight race. My coach had told me before, if I keep my head down and don't take a lot of breaths in between, just keeping going, you'll get to tha first place spot and that's what I did. I didn't look at anyone else around me."

It took a few seconds to realize McCaw was the champion after touching the wall.

"I looked up at the board and it was hard to see as the times were so close. I looked at my coaches and they (Landry and Wadsworth) were waving their arms, jumping up and down and I was like, that's a good sign," said McCaw. "I looked back at the board. They had rearranged the names and mine was at the top. It was awesome."

Ranked fourth heading into the event, McCaw swam a 1:19.61 in the prelims, taking a second off her PB time. Lowering her PB even more in the final lifted McCaw to the top of the podium.

"I was in total shock. I was so happy. I wanted to cry. I made a goal. My first goal of the day was to make the A final and the second goal was to be on the podium. Then to be first in the province is incredible," said McCaw. "It was a crazy a feeling. It felt like on top of the world. I couldn't believe it was for real. I got the other two girls to stand on top of the podium with me for a photo."

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Rosie McCaw on the podium with bronze medalist Dana Hawitt, left, and silver medalist Nicole Soliman, March 1 at the OFSAA swimming championships. . (photo / courtesy Briar McCaw)


McCaw is the first Stampeder to medal at OFSAA, since Mac Watson won a bronze in the junior men's 50 meter fly in 2018. A year earlier, Watson won silver in the 50 free and a bronze in the 100 free.

The last Parkside athlete to win gold at OFSAA swimming needs a deeper dip.

On day one of OFSAA swimming, McCaw just missed a medal, finishing fourth in the 50 meter back, with PB time of 35.35 seconds.

"It's definitely the biggest thing. I've been to OFSAA for rugby, but that's at team sport. This was completely different," McCaw said "There was so many people. It was crazy. 2000 swimmers. To have your name up on the board. It was big."

McCaw also had the senior girls 200 meter freestyle relay with Addison Martin, Lynsey Last and Emma Wilcox.

"We had some new swimmers to our team. They were nervous, but they did so, so good. They put it all out there for our relay. It was an amazing to have the experience. It was a fun event," said McCaw. "They stayed to watch my final. It's awesome to have supportive teammates there for you."

McCaw started her swimming with the Aylmer Arrows and her number one supporter has always been her sister, Briar, who provides advice, tips and encouragement.

"I made lots of new friends and getting to reunite with my old teammates from my past club was really awesome. It's an incredible experience," said McCaw. "For Parkside there has never been this many swimmers going to OFSAA. This year we had eight swimmers."

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Rosie McCaw, left, with her fourth place ribbon and Alexis Gray, with a sixth place ribbon, both in the junior girls' 50-meter back stroke, on day one of the OFSAA swimming championships February 28 in Windsor. (photo / courtesy Rosie McCaw)


Alexis Gray had a pair of top 12 finishes, sixth in the girls 14 and under 50 back (35.70 sec.) and 12th in the 50 free (31.68 sec.).

"I got a PB for my 50 back (35.70 seconds), and I didn't expect to go to finals for my 50 free. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I made it this far," Gray said. "I didn't think I was going to place top 10 but I very happy I did and very happy I got to experience OFSAA. Being at OFSAA was stressful, but also exciting because there was so much happening so fast. I did go to OFSAA West for track in Grade nine, but I would say this is my biggest meet."

Garrett Haveman, open boys, 27th, 100 meter fly (1:10.10); Siena Begeman, open girls, 35th, 200 meter freestyle (2:29.30), 41st, 50 free (30.22 sec.); Ruby Watson, 15 years and over, 45th, 50 free (33.41 sec.).


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Emma Beggs, of the East Elgin Eagles, a bronze medalist in the open women's 100-meter I.M., March 1 at the OFSAA swimming championships. (photo / courtesy Brooke Preszcator)


Beggs captures bronze

Emma Beggs capped her high school career with a pair of top 10 swims including an OFSAA bronze medal.

The East Elgin Eagle made the podium placing third in the open girls' 200 meter I.M. finishing in 2:28.95.

"It was a great feeling, and one I will never forget. Definitely one of the biggest races in my career so far," said Beggs. "It feels amazing to be an OFSAA medalist and I couldn't have asked for a better way to finish off my high school swimming career. I was definitely in shock to reach the podium. Since I was seeded third heading into the finals, I knew it was possible to medal but I tried to not let that get to my head."

The 200 is one of the longer races of the meet and a lot can happen over the two and half minutes.

"The unique part about the IM is that everyone has their strong and weak strokes, which means you can be behind or ahead of the pack at any point in the race," Beggs said. "Since breaststroke is my speciality, I pulled ahead in it, but knew I still had to complete the freestyle, which is my weakest stroke. I could tell after the breaststroke that I was in the second or third position, so I knew I had to really push it during the freestyle to keep my podium placement.
"I knew I gave it my all, so when I touched I was just hoping I squeezed onto the podium. I looked up at the scoreboard right away and saw the third beside my name and instantly I was smiling ear to ear."

In her second individual event, Beggs finished seventh, in the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing in 1:15.86.

"I'm super proud of the whole team. Everyone worked super hard for this experience. The thrill of being at OFSAA really added to the experience, and set us up for fast racing. Our relay did very well, and to make the A final was a great experience for all of us. It was a very cool atmosphere, where we could cheer for everyone and watch everyone’s hard work pay off.

Beggs, with Valaurie Carson and Brooke and Ainsley Preszcator, finished 10th, in the girls 200-meter medley relay A final (2:15.91).

"It was awesome to have one last OFSAA, after missing out for the past two years," Beggs said. "The team atmosphere and support will stay with me from this experience, as well as the feeling of successful swims."

The Eagles had eights swimmers at OFSAA.

"We were all so happy watching Emma swim, and so excited to watch her win bronze," said Brooke Preszcator. "My races all went well and I had an amazing time being with everyone. Our relay would be most memorable because we made the A final, and it was the first time in the A final for all four of us so we were all very excited to be there."

Cadence Neusteter, girls 15 years and over, 23rd, 50 free (31.26 sec.), 33rd, 100 back (1:26.22); Brianna Syrnyk, girls 15 years and over, 23rd, 50 fly (35.64 sec.); Ainsley Preszcator, open girls, 26th, 100 back (1:13.30), 35th, 50 free (29.82 sec.); Brooke Preszcator, open girls, 38th, 100 back (1:15.98), 39th, 100 I.M (1:17.70); Lauren Collard, girls 14 and under, 27th, 50 back (41.29 sec.), 50 breast, DQ; Girls 15 years and over 200 medley relay of Collard, Ellery Beilhartz, Brianna Syrnyk, Cadence Neusteter, DQ.


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The East Elgin Eagles, at the OFSAA swimming championships, from left, Brooke Preszcator, Brianna Syrnyk, Valaurie Carson, coach Carol McNiece, Cadence Neusteter, Ellery Beilhartz, Emma Beggs, Ainsley Preszcator, coach Steve Voros, Lauren Collard. (photo / courtesy Emma Beggs)

de Miranda leads Rams

Jaden de Miranda led the St. Joseph's Rams, with two B final appearances and Diego Alban-Gasca placed sixth, in the para men's 50-meter back.

de Miranda made the B final for both the boys 15 years and over 50 fly and 50 free, placing 13th (29.73 sec.) and 16th (27.15 sec.) overall, respectively.

Alban-Gasca also was 12th, in the para men's 50 free (44.79 sec.)

Gabe Dala, para men, 20th, 50 free (1:02.62), 10th, 50 back (1:18.61); Sarah VelVelzer, girls 15 years and over, 22nd 100 back (1:32.01), 26th, 100 free (1:12.90)
Rebecca Rivard, girls 15 year and over, 35th, 200 free (2:56.42); Isa Van Pelt-Castro, girls 15 years and over, 36th, 100 free (1:15.40), 44th, 50 fly (39.77 sec.)
Shalem Hernandez, boys 14 years and under, 28th, 100 free (1:13.24) 35th, 50 free (30.52 sec.); Ryan Didham, boys 14 years and under, 42nd, 50 back (42.11 sec.)
Dmytro Heichenko, boys 15 years and over, 49th, 100 free (1:15.07); Girls 15 years and over 200 free relay of Van Pelt-Castro, Rivard, Lydia Drummelsmith, VanVelzer, 32nd (2:18.39); Boys 15 years and over 200 free relay of Heichenko, Didham, Hernandez, de Miranda, 17th (1:59.60).


Banting OFSAA silver team medalist

London Banting placed second in the combined team standings behind champion Georgetown District. Banting won the open boys and senior girls team titles.

St. Joseph's was eighth in the para team standings.






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     Beggs and Begeman WOSSAA double gold

    Triple TVRA gold for Beggs

    OFSAA 2000 



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