HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic
By Martin Cleary
If you’re a high school student/athlete in Ottawa, life is good.
All levels of spring sports are back in action and that includes chasing the opportunity to represent your school at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association’s provincial championships.
OFSAA championships will be staged at 15 different levels in seven sports – badminton, rugby, tennis, field lacrosse, soccer, track and field and baseball – throughout the province. The National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association will not serve as one of the host associations. There also will be one festival for ultimate.
The provincial high school championships will begin Thursday on the badminton courts in Pain Court and run until June 8 with the baseball championship, which will be run by OFSAA.
The NCSSAA will be well represented at the OFSAA badminton championships in the small agricultural village in southwestern Ontario.
After a spring season of tournament play and the city championships, 16 players qualified in four singles and three doubles categories. Franco-Cité led the entry list with six players, qualifying one team in each of the girls’, boys’ and mixed doubles draws.
St. Joseph will have three players at the provincials, while St. Peter and De La Salle have qualified two each and Immaculata, Ashbury and Gisèle-Lalonde will be represented by one student/athlete each in singles competition.
Jacob Beauchamp and Kayana Kama won the NCSSAA mixed doubles title for Franco-Cité, and Justin Doan and Karen Jorgensen of St. Joseph were second.
Dani Roth and Katie Fong of St. Peter were the NCSSAA girls’ doubles champions and advanced to provincials with runners-up Sabrina Seto and Catherine MacDonell-Marcotte, the Franco-Cité junior entry.
The boys’ doubles representatives are city champions Simon Bose and Tristan Boivin of De La Salle, and Franco-Cité’s Sebastien Church and Oliver Brabant.
Four city champions moved ahead to the OFSAA championships in singles: Amit Kunkulol, St. Joseph, boys’ open; Jenny Liao, Ashbury, girls’ open; Ze Feng Wang, Immaculata, boys’ high school; and Melina Cane, Gisèle-Lalonde, girls’ high school.
Meanwhile, the NCSSAA spring sports schedule has started and should be in full swing by next week.
The OFSAA-division rugby season opened last week for four boys’ and five girls’ teams. The NCSSAA also is offering many rugby opportunities for student/athletes and has organized a boys’ senior Tier 1 and Tier 2 15s league (five teams), boys’ senior 10s league (five teams) and a senior girls’ 10s league (eight teams). Last fall, the NCSSAA organized boys’ and girls’ flag rugby.
The 10s leagues will stage two one-day tournaments with four, short games each day.
Senior girls’ soccer started April 25-26 for the 10 OFSAA teams, 24 Tier 1 teams and 14 Tier 2 teams. The girls’ junior schedule, which features only 12 teams, opened Tuesday.
The 31 schools that comprise the OFSAA, Tier 1 and Tier 2 divisions for baseball will run onto the field Monday and Tuesday.
Field lacrosse was expected to start Wednesday for the five teams in Tier 2 and on Thursday for the eight OFSAA-league teams.
Girls’ touch football is another popular sport as 40 schools have been divided into eight geographical leagues and will start play Monday.
The NCSSAA West and East track and field championships will run May 11 and May 12, respectively. The top athletes will advance to the city championships May 19-20. The East Regional meet is slated for May 26-27. All four meets will be held at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility.
The OFSAA track and field championships go June 2-4 in Toronto.
EMMA ACRES LOSES FIRST GAME AT U18 CURLING NATIONALS
Skip Emma Acres, third Ava Acres, second Liana Flanagan and lead Mya Sharpe lost their first game after three wins at the Canadian U18 girls’ curling championship in Oakville, ON.
The RCMP Curling Club rink fell behind early and never recovered as Nova Scotia’s Marin Callaghan posted four points in the third end, two in the fifth and stole one in the sixth for an 8-4 win.
The Draw 12 afternoon loss left the Acres rink in a four-way tie for first place in its pool at 3-1 with Callaghan and its next two opponents Sarah Gaines, New Brunswick No. 2, and Gracelyn Richards, British Columbia No. 1.
OTTAWA PARA PADDLERS AT FRONT OF PACK
Rideau Canoe Club’s Gabriel Ferron-Bouius continued his winning ways today at the Canoe Kayak Canada national team trials No. 1 in Dartmouth, N.S., as he captured the para kayak final over 200 metres in 48.316 seconds.
Competing in a mixed gender race, Brianna Hennessy of the Ottawa River Canoe Club placed second in the para VAA 200-metre race in 1:05.818.
Sophia Jensen of the Cascades Club again placed second to Katie Vincent of Mississauga, when she was runner-up in the senior women’s C1 500 metres in 2:13.208. Jensen was only 0.370 seconds behind Vincent, who raced at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
Four Rideau boats finished in the middle of the pack in the senior women’s K1 500-metre final behind winner Michelle Russell of Cheema in 2:01.091: Natalie Davison, third, 2:02.398; Toshka Besharah, fourth, 2:02.998; Madeline Schmidt, fifth, 2:03.404; and Maren Bradley, sixth, 2:03.538.
NORDIQ CANADA SELECTS SEVEN OTTAWA AREA SKIERS
Seven National Capital Region and area cross-country skiers retained or earned national-team status Wednesday, after Nordiq Canada named 30 skiers to its Senior, NextGen and Development programs.
Olympians Katherine Stewart-Jones of Nakkertok Nordic and Antoine Cyr of Skinouk were returned to the Senior Program. Their focus will be the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milano/Cortina, Italy.
The NextGen Program will include Nakkertok racers Jasmine Lyons and Pierre Grall-Johnson, while Tory Audet of Chelsea Nordiq, Luke Allan of Nakkertok and Guillaume Pelchat of Pembroke and Area Cross-Country Ski Club have been selected to the Development Program.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 48 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @martincleary.
HELP SHINE A LIGHT ON LOCAL SPORT! The Ottawa Sports Pages has proudly provided a voice for local sport for 10 years, but we need your help to continue another 10 and beyond. Please donate to the new Ottawa Sports Pages Fund today.