Not since 2009 had a contingent of Lions athletes brought home as many medals from OFSAA, the Ontario High School Championships, as 13 athletes won 16 medals, including five gold. The first gold came Friday from Maggie Scheunert of Garneau HS in the open girls 1500m steeplechase who used a strong finishing kick to beat Callie McGuire of Loyola to the line in 5:07.82. While Scheunert’s place atop the podium was no surprise, she entered the competition ranked third, it was expected she would be joined by top seed Alexa Livingstone. However, Livingstone would collide with one of the barriers in the heats, surrendering her lead, but still managing to qualify to the final. However, x-rays following the race revealed Alexa had broken both arms. Despite pulling out of the steeplechase, the gutsy runner would return for Saturday’s senior girls 3000m final where she would place 15th.
Taking the senior girls 3000m race was Livingstone’s Glebe HS teammate Claire Smith who looked like a woman on a mission after her silver medal performance in Friday’s 1500m final. While running shoulder to shoulder with rival Charlotte Proust of London through two kilometers, Smith began turning up the pace, eventually creating a 60 metre lead as she won comfortably in a lifetime best 9:35.39.
Smith wasn’t the only lady to dominate the 3k as Longfields Davidson student Shona McCulloch proved to be the class of the field in the midget girls race, winning by more than 20 seconds, crossing the line in 10:07.06. While Shona appeared to be making a run at the OFSAA record early on, leading by 100m at the halfway mark, the hot sun slowed the pace over the final four laps.
While Shona was running to gold on the track, pole vaulter Zack Kerr of Hillcrest HS was taking his final jumps at OFSAA and the grade 12 student was making the most of it,equalling his personal best of 4.55m to secure his fourth straight OFSAA gold in the pole vault. A member of Canada’s team at last year’s World Youth Championships in the Ukraine, Kerr is first male pole vaulter to win four OFSAA gold since the removal of grade 13 and possibly the only male to never lose an OFSAA pole vault competition.
The final gold came from St. Mark’s Larissa Brown who dominated the girls visually impaired 100m, winning in an OFSAA record time 14.20 seconds. Brown’s time slashed an astonishing 2.71 seconds off the previous best as she became the first St. Mark student to win 100m gold since former Lion Ashley Purnell set the Canadian Interscholastic Record in 2002.
Other performances of note include Matt Bedard’s double silver in the 400m and 400m hurdles as well as Shyvonne Roxborough’s 100m/long jump double silver. Bedard kicked things off with a seven tenths of a second personal best in the flat four, finishing in 48.65 before rounding out the championship with a near PB 53.76 in the 400m hurdles.
After claiming second in the junior girls 100m Friday afternoon, Roxborough picked up her silver medal and made her way over to the long jump looking for some gold. After jumping into the lead in round four with a leap of 5.28m, Shyvonne was passed in round five when Ebhani Blackwood went to 5.33m. However, Roxborough produced a personal best jump of 5.33m in the final round, and put one hand on that gold medal on the count back. Unfortunately for the South Carleton student, Blackwood leapt to 5.30m on the final jump of the competition to eek out the competition by 2cm in the count back.
Other medallists from the weekend included:
Erinn Stenman-Fahey – Senior Girls 800m SILVER
Arden McAlpin – Junior Girls 4x100m SILVER
Keira Christie-Galloway – Midget Girls Long Jump SILVER
Alexia Lamothe – Senior Girls 100m Hurdles BRONZE
Farah Abdul-Karim – Open Boys 2000m Steeplechase BRONZE
Keili Shephard – Midget Girls 1500m BRONZE