By Martin Cleary
Sprinters love the heat and had plenty of it on the opening day Thursday of the two-day OFSAA East Regional track and field meet at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility.
But the inconsistent wind was a totally different matter for two up-and-coming speedsters.
Will Batley of West Carleton Secondary School excelled in the boys’ junior 200-metre final in a personal-best and meet record time of 21.89 seconds. The wind blew favourably for him at only 1.7 metres per second. The allowable is 2.0 metres per second or less.
Only minutes before in the boys’ 200-metre novice final, Ange-Mathis Kramo of Paul-Desmarais captured his race in what appeared to be a meet record mark of 22.24 seconds. But a check of the wind gauge showed the wind was ever-so-slightly too strong at 2.1 metres per second.
The East Regional meet determines the top five qualifiers in each boys and girls’ novice, junior and senior event for the OFSAA provincial high school championships June 8-10 at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility.
Batley benefited from his two-year-old track rivalry with Ashbury’s Preston Schwarz, who provided continual motivation during Batley’s impressive run.
“It went really good,” Batley said about his overall performance in the half-lap sprint.
“I thought my start was a little weak coming out of the blocks. But then when I got to the straight, I saw I had Preston beside me, so I had to kick it in more. Around the 120-metre mark, it was like ‘Ok, I gotta get going,’ and then the rest is history.”
Batley’s winning time of 21.89 seconds took down the 13-year-old record of 22.03 seconds, which belonged to future Olympian Segun Makinde of Colonel By. Schwarz placed second in 22.32 seconds, while Louis-Riel’s Zachary Jeggo was third in 22.63 seconds.
“I thought I was going to hit 21 (seconds) today, but I’m kind of at a loss for words. Today was a really great day,” added Batley, who won the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association city championship final in a record 22.14 seconds.
Batley is scheduled to run the 100-metre preliminaries Friday and hopes to reach the final and qualify for a two-race assignment (or more with relays) at the OFSAA championships.
“I love it,” Batley said about racing the provincial championships next week in Ottawa. “I wasn’t really looking forward to driving somewhere else, so having it in my hometown and being able to sleep in my own bed is pretty nice.”
Kramo was first in the boys’ novice 200 metres in a wind-aided 22.24 seconds, which allowed Dorbor Kollie of Longfields-Davidson Heights to extend the hold on his record of 22.77 to an 11th year. Kramo’s convincing effort earned him a margin of victory of 0.97 seconds.
Vincent Onana of Franco-Ouest finished second to Kramo in 23.21 seconds.
Quinn Coughlin of Opeongo broke the girls’ junior 300-metre hurdles record, when she posted a winning time of 44.32 seconds. Sarah Jackson of St. Mark set the former record at 44.60 seconds in 2014.
Merivale’s Fega Eruotor and Ashbury’s Lecia Patrick were one-two respectively in the girls’ junior 200-metre final in 25.65 seconds and 25.86 seconds. Tatiana Pender of Franco-Ouest was second in the girls’ senior 200 metres in 25.97 seconds.
Jorai Oppong-Nketiah of Pierre-de-Blois, one of the top Grade 9 sprinters in Canada, was the girls’ novice 200-metre winner in a personal-best 25.12 seconds. Her time was the fastest in all three girls’ 200-metre age-group finals.
“I’m very proud of myself and I’m very happy to represent my school,” Oppong-Nketiah said. “I actually surprised myself. I was impressed after the 100 metres last week (12.25 seconds at the NCSSAA championships) and I’m impressed with my time today, too. I’m very happy.”
Louis-Riel’s Jeggo had a second medal performance Thursday, when he won the boys’ junior 300-metre hurdles in 39.80 seconds, which was only half a second off the record. Mason Brennan of Colonel By was third in 42.36.
Ben Nkongolo of Immaculata cleared 1.75 metres to win the boys’ novice high jump and Eric Lapner of Ashbury finished in a four-way tie for second place at 1.70 metres.
Sir Robert Borden’s Elise Katsube had the best throw in the girls’ senior javelin at 34.16 metres and Gloucester’s Teresa Nze Medja was third at 27.79 metres.
Lara Collins of Glebe was second in the girls’ senior 400-metre hurdles in 1:08.27, while Koree Yach of Arnprior posted the fastest time of 1:06.37.
Kaiya Woodcock of Sacred Heart and Deborah Adeleye of Ashbury had a tight battle in the girls’ junior long jump. The second round of jumping determined their final placings as Woodcock reached 5.02 metres and Adeleye was right behind at 5.01 metres.
West Carleton’s Jack Armstrong won the boys’ senior javelin at 46.63 metres. Shea Sampson of Lisgar and Brendan Farhat of Pierre-Savard were one-two in the boys’ novice shot put with respective distances of 13.11 metres and 12.62 metres.
NCSSAA athletes swept the top-three spots in three events.
Damien Richer of Franco-Cité captured the boys’ senior 200 metres in 21.74 seconds, while Glebe’s Jay Yetman was second, 21.88 seconds, and William Sanders of St. Mother Teresa took third, 22.40 seconds.
Timeo Atonfo of Gisèle-Lalonde placed first in the boys’ junior long jump at 6.48 metres, and was followed by Aleem Khaida of Colonel By at 6.15 metres and Khan Shimizu of Woodroffe at 6.05 metres.
In the girls’ junior 1,500 metres, Isabella Chiumera of St. Pius X crossed the finish first in 4:48.15, while Ciara Villeneuve of Paul-Desmarais took second in 4:55.16 and Grace Streek of Peak Centre was third in 4:56.99.
Third-place finishes were recorded by Nicolas Belan, Canterbury, boys’ senior 1,500 metres, 3:57.92; Daniel Cova, Louis Riel, boys’ junior 1,500 metres, 4:11.99; Owen Siderus, Colonel By, boys’ novice 1,500 metres, 4:19.73; Adelle MacLeod, A.Y. Jackson, girls’ senior triple jump, 10.83 metres; Megan Zucker, Ashbury, girls’ junior discus, 25.53 metres; Kyra Lauter, Franco-Ouest, girls’ novice 1,500 metres, 5:06.56; and Baraka Panda, Pierre-Savard, girls’ novice high jump, 1.40 metres.
– with files from Dan Plouffe
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 High Achievers “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.
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