By Martin Cleary
Jorai Oppong-Nketiah is the No. 1-ranked sprinter in Canada this year for girls born in 2008.
The Grade 9 Pierre-de-Blois high school student-athlete earned that distinction Thursday as she continued her record-breaking outdoor season on the final day of the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association track and field championships.
She posted an amazing 100-metre dash in her city championship debut that would have won all three female finals over that distance.
Oppong-Nketiah blazed to victory in the girls’ novice 100 metres on the Terry Fox Athletic Facility track in 12.25 seconds, which set off all sorts of alarms surrounding her notable achievement.
· Her time is unmatched by any female sprinter in the country this season for athletes born in 2008.
· On the Athletics Canada girls’ U18 national ranking list, her time is tied for sixth place with Alexandra Tenn, an unattached runner from British Columbia born in 2006.
· By running 12.25 seconds in the final, she erased the NCSSAA city championship record of 12.40 seconds, which was set by Anne Liuzzo of Canterbury in 1975.
· Her time would have won the girls’ junior and senior 100-metre finals as Kaiya Woodcock of Sacred Heart captured the former title in 12.67 seconds and Danica Mulvihill of Louis Riel was the later winner in 13.02 seconds.
· Oppong-Nketiah also won the girls’ novice 100-metre final by 1.1 seconds as Alyssa Brule of Louis-Riel was second in 13.35.
Oppong-Nketiah prepared for her record-breaking 100-metre final by posting the fastest time of 12.49 seconds in the preliminary round. On Wednesday, she won the girls’ 200-metre final in 25.95 seconds.
At last week’s NCSSAA West Conference championships, Oppong-Nketiah showed strong sprinting potential in her outdoor high school debut. She broke the 100-metre record of 12.44 seconds twice, running 12.39 seconds in the preliminary round and 12.40 seconds in the final. In the 200 metres, she tied the record of 26.03 seconds in the qualifying round and erased it in the final at 25.96 seconds.
James Budrow of John McCrae set the only other record on the final day of the city championships, when he ran the boys’ ambulatory 100 metres in 13.15 seconds. The old record was set in 2019 by Gabriel Ferron Bouius of Nepean at 15.15 seconds.
Glebe’s Jay Yetman finished his boys’ senior competition as a triple champion, winning the 100 metres on Thursday in 10.99 seconds. His preliminary run was clocked in 10.97 seconds. He earlier won the 200 metres and long jump.
Nicolas Belan posted a comfortable boys’ senior 1,500-metre victory in 4:06.93, which came on the heels of his 800-metre win.
In girls’ senior races, Lara Collins of Glebe emerged as the best in hurdles, winning the race over 100 metres in 15.44 seconds. She previously won the 400-metre hurdles. A day after winning the 800 metres, Lauren Alexander of Glebe placed first in the 1,500 metres in 4:45.48.
Nepean’s Molly Barber collected her second girls’ junior city title with a win in the 400 metres in 1:01.50, after taking the 800 metres. Isabella Chiumera of St. Pius X was unbeatable in the 1,500 metres in 4:48.81 as well as the 3,000 metres.
Kaiya Woodcock of Sacred Heart was the girls’ junior 100-metre winner in 12.67 seconds and the long jump champion at 5.25 metres on Thursday. After winning the triple jump on Wednesday, Ashbury’s Deborah Adeleye became the 80-metre hurdles winner at 13.35 seconds.
The boys’ junior division also produced four double champions, including the Louis-Riel duo of Zachary Jeggo and Daniel Cova. Jeggo was the 400-metre winner in 50.55 seconds, while Cova took the 1,500-metre title in 4:10.85. Jeggo won the 300-metre hurdles and Cova captured the 800 metres on the first day.
West Carleton sprinter Will Batley was fastest in the boys’ junior 100 metres with the best time of 11.13 seconds, after his record run in the 200-metre final on Wednesday.
Timeo Atonfo of Gisèle-Lalonde scored a pair of wins Thursday, taking the 100-metre hurdles in 14.00 seconds and the long jump at 6.59 metres.
After a record run in the boys’ novice 200 metres on Wednesday, Ange-Mathis Kramo of Paul-Desmarais won the 100 metres in a wind-aided 11.34 seconds.
Owen Siderus of Colonel By was the best in boys’ novice middle-distance running. He won the 1,500 metres in 4:26.16, a day after his 800-metre victory.
A pair of Franco-Ouest athletes also were standouts in the girls’ novice division.
Kyra Lauter placed first in the 1,500 metres in 5:16.37, which followed her 800-metre win. In the field, Jordan Blondin won the shot put at 10.33 metres, after taking first in the javelin on Wednesday.
Ottawa Tech’s Marquis Baker won the boys’ intellectual division’s 100 metres in 14.12 seconds and the shot put at 8.44 metres.
HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @martincleary.
HELP SHINE A LIGHT ON LOCAL SPORT! The Ottawa Sports Pages has proudly provided a voice for local sport for over 10 years, but we need your help to continue another 10 and beyond. Please donate to the Ottawa Sports Pages Fund today.