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Track and Field
East end athletes win trio of medals at OFSAA T&F championships
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Gisèle-Lalonde hurdler Leewinchell Jean competes in the junior boys 100-metre hurdles at the OFSAA provincial track and field championships in Belleville on June 1. Fred Sherwin/Photo

You know you have a special talent when you have an off year in competition and still win two bronze medals at the provincial championships. Such was the result École secondaire Gisèle-Lalonde hurdler Leewinchell Jean had at this year’s OFSAA track and field championships held in Belleville last week.

Last year’s gold medalist in the midget boys 300-metre hurdles and silver medalist in the 100-metre event, went into the provincial championships as the newly-crowned East Region champion in both events.

With his confidence level sky high, Jean was hoping to win two gold medals and possibly set a new OFSAA record. He had to lower his expectations, however, after placing fourth in the 100-metres preliminary heats.

Despite running with an old set of spikes, the Grade 10 student still managed to improve on his prelim time of 13.45 seconds to claim a bronze medal in the final with a time of 14.20 seconds.

He returned to the track on Saturday determined to do better in the 300-metre hurdles and ran the second fastest time in morning heats with a 40.67.

Despite running a sub-40 second time in the final, Jean was nipped at the wire for second place and had to settle for another bronze.

Although not what he had hoped for, the two bronze is still a remarkable result for someone who does not train on a regular basis and is not a member of an organized track and field club.

Given his results and his potential, Jean is now seriously considering joining the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club to see just how far he can go.

Louis-Riel pole vaulter Caroline Poirier won a bronze medal in the senior girls event with a leap of 3.40 metres. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The east end's third bronze medalist at the OFSAA meet was Caroline Poirier from École secondaire Louis Riel who place third in the senior girls pole vault under extremely windy conditions.

A Grade 11 first year senior, Poirier battled it out to the end with the eventual gold and silver medalists, both of whom are in their final year of high school.

With a personal best of 3.50 metres, Poirier entered the competition at three metres and easily cleared the height on her first attempt. She then passed at 3.10 metres and inexplicably missed on her first attempt at 3.20 metres. She cleared the height on her second attempt and then easily cleared on her first attempt at 3.30 metres.

It was at 3.40 metres that she ran into trouble. After failing to clear the bar on her first two attempts, she tried to abort her third attempt on the run up, but her pole bounced on the ground and hit the take off pit which counted as an attempt and just like that she was out of the competition.

Because she missed on first attempt at 3.20, Poirier had to settle for third place behind Emily Newton from Mayfield Secondary School in Brampton who went clear on all six of her attempts at lower heights before failing to clear at 3.40 metres. The eventual champion was Katy Magoffin from Woodstock who managed to clear the bar on her second attempt at the height.

With Magoffin and Newton both grad-uating this spring, Poirier should be the clear favourite next year along with teammate Annabelle Gagnon who cleared a personal best 3.20 metres to place fourth in the competition.

Louis-Riel sent 10 athletes to the OFSAA championships. Sprinter Kayla Vieux made the final of the junior girls 100-metre dash and placed fifth in a time of 12.67 seconds. She then joined forces with teammates Katherine Petrut, Kadiatou Wann and Megan Roy to finish fifth in the junior girls 4x100 relay after setting a team best time in the prelims.

Other local athletes who placed in the top 10 in their event include Katie Newlove from St. Peter High School who rebounded from a disappointing 8th place finish in the midget girls 1500-metres to place fourth in the 3000-metres in a personal best time of 10;30.26.

The previously mentioned Kadiatou Wann finished fifth in the junior girls long jump with a leap of 4.08 metres, and Eli Adjibi placed 7th in the final of the senior boys 100-metre dash.

Finally, former St. Matthew High School hurdler Keira Christie Galloway successfully defended her senior girls title in the 100-metre hurdles running for Glebe Collegiate.

Louis-Riel pole vaulter Annabelle Gagné cleared a persona best height of 3.20 metres to finish fourth in the senior girls event behind teammate Caroline Poirier. Fred Sherwin/Photo

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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