This year, The Country Day School Senior Track team began a new tradition of choosing a motivational quote for the team’s motto for the season. After some extensive voting, the quote by Kenneth Cooper; “Start Strong, Finish Stronger” was selected. This quote would define another historical season for this team, as we sent the largest roster to the CISAA, Metro and OFSAA Championships.
After qualifying from the Metro Championships, nine CDS athletes headed to compete at the OFSAA Championships held in Belleville June 1-3; a record for CDS. These athletes would represent their school in 10 different events. OFSAA is considered the largest high school track meet in Canada and the third largest in North America.
Grade 10 student Caleb Clarke is the first male athlete at CDS to compete in three different events at OFSAA. Although he was disappointed with his results in the Midget Boys long jump (13th) and 200m sprint (14th), Caleb set school records in both of these events.
Jonah De Simone (Grade 10) competed in the Midget Boys 100m sprint and placed 9th overall, just missing the finals by less than a blink of an eye. He was hundredths of a second off setting a new record, but did set a new PB (personal best).
After narrowly missing OFSAA in the Midget Girls 400m sprint last year, Alessia Masini (Grade 10) was determined to qualify this year. Poised and focused at the start line, she ran a PB at the Metro’s to earn her spot at the OFSAA Championships. Alessia placed 19th overall.
This was Karsen Roy’s (Grade 9) first appearance at OFSAA. She was a distance runner who decided mid-way through the season to add the Midget Girls 300m hurdles to her repertoire. Although Karsen did not achieve her goal, she still set a new PB and placed 24th.
Angelica Tait (Grade 9) competed in the Midget Girls javelin throw, which was a relatively new event for her. She continued to improve each meet and then set a new school record at the Metro Championships to earn a trip to OFSAA. Angelica placed 22nd overall.
This was Jane Stanton’s (Grade 11) third time competing at OFSAA in the sprint hurdles. As a first year Senior she had to adjust to a new race distance and the hurdles being further apart. Determined to make the finals, Jane ran a PB in her heat. After an exciting photo finish, Jane placed 8th with another PB and new school record.
Jonah De Simone, Lucio Masini (Grade 10), Maxx Railton (Grade 10) and Caleb Clarke made up our Midget Boys relay team and quickly established themselves as a contender at OFSAA after a stunning race at the Metro Championships. Heading into the finals the team was ranked 5th, but after another strong and exciting performance, the boys won a bronze medal. This is the first time that a CDS team as ever won an OFSAA medal in the relay.
After an incredible debut at OFSAA last year winning 2 bronze medals, Grade 10 student Wilson O’Neill set his goals this year on improving his performances, despite having to adapt to a new hurdle height. Wilson’s season started strong, but truly got stronger. He set a PB in every single race he ran this season. Wilson headed into OFSAA as a double bronze medalist. Instead of becoming stressed out by the pressure to perform well, Wilson embraced the challenge and set his goals high.
After four incredible runs, Wilson finished his perfect season as the OFSAA Champion in the 100m and 300m hurdles. He set two new PB’s and went on to set two new school records. Wilson is the first CDS athlete to win two gold medals at OFSAA.
Ruthann Gairdner was the last CDS athlete to win an OFSAA gold medal in track and field. This performance came in 2000 in the Senior Girls 400m hurdles. Her record still stands.
This season was definitely one to remember as there were so many personal bests and school records conquered by rookies like Carly Panneton (Grade 9) in the shot put and veterans mentioned earlier. Congratulations to the whole team on an incredible season! We are so proud of all that you have accomplished and we look forward to working with you again next year.
Finally, we wish our graduating Grade 12 athletes, Beau Binnie, Logan Hunt and Nicole Petrovita all the best at University next year. Your leadership, strong work ethic and positive attitude will be missed.
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