|Georgian Bay Coyotes||
Five Coyotes compete at Ontario Summer Games - Jul 21-23, 2022
This past week the City of Mississauga was host to the Ontario Summer Games, the Province’s largest multi-sport competition for athletes aged 12-18. The Summer games are an initiative of the Provincial government’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. This year was the 26th edition of the games, which have grown to encompass more than 3500 athletes from across the Province in 19 different sports including baseball, basketball, lacrosse, volleyball, soccer and athletics to name a few.
Five members of the Georgian Bay Coyotes Track Club, Vani Mahajan, Ethan Mei, Emmett Leary, Isabel Spence and Bryson Cleland were selected to participate in the sport of athletics as part of the team of 360 athletes who would get to compete in track and field. Each athlete was assigned to be part of one of four coloured teams which competed against each other for points based on their placing in their events, with the winning team getting to hoist the Ontario Summer Games Trophy. Each athlete spent three days with their team and team coaches which included numerous former Olympians, Canadian national team members, Canadian University track and field coaches and current University student athletes.
Athletes arrived to their venue on Thursday morning to meet their team and coaches but the event got off to a bit of a rough start with some team jersey’s having been misplaced and the athletes hotel not being prepared for them so it was a lot of waiting around for the athletes as they tried to sort through the issues. The evening was capped with the opening ceremonies at Toronto’s Celebration Square where all 3500 athletes, coaches, volunteers and parents were welcomed by government officials and treated to the lighting of the torch and cauldron and some live music.
Early Friday morning the athletes were bussed to the track at St. Marcellinus Secondary School where the athletics competition took place. The school included an 8-lane 400m rubberized track and all the necessarily elements for the field events including two jump pits and designated fenced off areas for the throwing events. As a middle-distance track club the five Coyote athletes were selected for the 800m, 1200m and 2000m running events.
On Friday morning, with the temperatures already hovering around 30oC the Coyotes took the track in their 1200m races and showed that they were able to keep pace with the best in the Province. Meaford’s Emmett Leary held the lead in the first heat of the boys U14 1200m but couldn’t quite hold on in the kick to the finish placing 2nd overall and getting a silver medal. Each Coyote gave their best effort and several got new PB’s along with their experience. Bryson Cleland & Isabel Spence finished in 16th in the U14 boys / girls respectively, Vani Mahajan was 17th in the U16 girls and Ethan Mei was 22nd in the boys U16 race.
Friday evening was capped off with the relay races where groups of four members of each team were selected to compete in either of the 4x100m or 4x800m relay. Isabel Spence was selected to be part of the 4x800m Team Grey ‘A’ team and she ran a strong middle leg to keep her team close with Team Grey finishing third and getting the Bronze medal. Bryson Cleland and Emmett Leary were selected as the 3rd and anchor legs for the 4x800m Team Red ‘B’ team. After 1600m on the track their team was in third place when Bryson took the baton from his teammate and started to make up ground. On his 2nd lap of the track he passed his closest competitor to move his team into 2nd position but well behind the Team Black ‘B’ team which was almost 100m ahead by this point. The final pass from Bryson to Emmett was a clean pass and Emmett took off like a shot trying to make up an almost impossible gap of approximately 100m with only 800m remaining in the race. Unofficially, Emmett ran his fastest 800m ever to unbelievably pass his Black team opponent on the final lap and take the Gold medal for the Red team. The Red Team manager said “it was the highlight of the weekend to see Emmett passing the Black team runner like he was standing still.” In the U16 4x800m relays Vani’s team White ‘B’ finished 5th and Ethan’s team Grey ‘B” team also finishing 5th.
Saturday was another blistering hot day on the track with temperatures reaching 33oC and warmer when standing on a rubber track. The day began with the U16 2000m races. In the girls division Vani ran a personal best time to capture 9th while Ethan Mei missed a new personal best time by less than a second, finishing 15th. By mid-afternoon with the sun at its peak the athletes took to the track for the 800m races. In the girls U14 Isabel Spence ran a great race and had an exciting sprint to the finish outpacing her fellow competitor and finishing 17th. In the Boys U14 race, Emmett Leary again lead the first heat right off the start but was outkicked in the final 100m of the race to finish 2nd and claim his second silver medal. Bryson Cleland ran a very strong race knocking 6 seconds of his previous best time and finishing 11th. In the U16 girls race Vani Mahajan finished 23rd.
With the competition winding down and teams desperately searching for additional points for their team to try to take the team title, club managers were asking athletes to compete in events for which they have never trained or raced. In the spirit of competition, Bryson Cleland, Emmett Leary and Vani Mahajan took up the offer and were late additions to the 800m and 1500m race walk. With last second instructions from officials on proper technique for these events they were last minute additions to the roster for these events.
Officials needed to be on their toes as they issued numerous infractions and several disqualifications in the race walk competition but when all competitors crossed the finish line, unbelievably Bryson Cleland took the gold in the boys U14 800rW with teammate Emmett Leary claiming 3rd. In the girls U16 1500rW Vani Mahajan finished 5th. Based on their finishing position each of these athletes picked up valuable points for their team.
After all the racing was done, the scores were tabulated and only 6 points separated the top three teams. The Grey Team which included Ethan Mei and Isabel Spence finished third overall. The White Team which included Vani Mahajan finished 2nd just 4.5 points back from the winning Red Team which included Emmett Leary and Bryson Cleland; who got to hoist the Ontario Summer Games Trophy with their teammates and coaches and do a victory lap around the track.
Between July 21-23 these athletes had to endure relentless heat and time away from family and friends but received an experience of a lifetime getting to compete as part of Team Ontario and getting to meet likeminded athletes and make some lasting friendships which will continue at competitions yet to come. Our five Georgian Bay Coyote athletes represented themselves, the club and community with humility, compassion and a competitive spirit and their coaches and parents are very proud of them. Overall they came away with 7 championship medals and memories to last a lifetime. The team is now on a break but will resume training in August in preparation for Cross-Country season.
Coyotes Compete at MTA Provincial Championships - Jul 16/17, 2022
Photo: Caleb Cleland, Bennett Hustwitt & Sam Zdybel-Smith sweep the podium, finishing 1st, 2nd & 3rd respectively, at the 2022 MTA Provincial Championships.
On Saturday July 16th and Sunday July 17th, thirteen members of the Georgian Bay Coyote Track Club competed in the MTA Provincial Championships held at the Terry Fox Stadium in Brampton. The first day of racing presented the athletes with the challenge of hot and humid conditions and very little relief was to be found by cloud cover or shade.
Athletes were in good spirits and faced the competition with determination. Joseph Spence put forth a notable performance in the tyke boys 1200m race, knocking an amazing 9 seconds off his personal best time and finishing 2nd overall. When the 1500m races began, Ben Barclay stepped to the line and participated in his first Provincial race ever. He put forth an excellent effort and held a strong pace throughout the entire race and finished with a great time.
On Saturday afternoon, some athletes participated in the 400m sprints. Caleb Cleland and Bennett Hustwitt both put their training into action and pushed through the line achieving personal best times and placing first and fourth respectively.
On Sunday the temperature was more comfortable as athletes showed up to take part in the 800m race. Breanna Hustwitt started the day off in the Mite girl’s category, and she played it smart and paced herself well and managed to knock 28 seconds off her previous time, finishing the race in third place.
For the first time ever at a Provincial championship, our Coyote Mite boys swept the podium. Caleb Cleland, Bennett Hustwitt and Sam Zdybel-Smith took first, second and third and demonstrated some very impressive talent on the track; the team has a bright future ahead of it.
On the weekend, the team came home with 6 Provincial medals and the time on the trackprovided some very valuable lessons and experience. All the athletes should be very proud of their hard work and accomplishments. The younger members of the team are now on a two-week break while five of our older athletes will be competing at the Ontario Summer Games in Mississauga on July 21-23.
Coyotes Compete at Brampton Racers Meet - Jun 19, 2022
Photo: Estelle MacInnes-Wiley, Lydia Menard and Chloe Burgess settle into their pace in the 2nd heat of the Atom Girls 1200m race at Terry Fox Stadium in Brampton.
On Sunday, June 19th, the Georgian Bay Coyotes took a large team of 31 athletes to the Terry Fox Track and Field Stadium in Brampton for their first outdoor race of the season. The eight-lane rubberized track gave everyone a spring in their step as they prepared for the day. High winds made it challenging for the athletes, but many managed to strategically tuck in behind another runner and practice their drafting until they were ready to make a move. Despite the wind, the runners brought home a good number of personal best performances.
For many of our younger runners in the club, this event was the first track meet they had ever competed in. Our young mite runners were forced to race up an age category to be able to enter a distance race and they made us all very proud. For our older racers, this meet was a qualifying meet for the Ontario Summer Games. Several athletes put their names forth for consideration and their times from this track meet will be used to determine whether or not they will be selected to be part of the team of athletes who will participate in the Ontario Summer Games, an event that was first delivered in 1973 by the City of Oshawa. Since then, the Games have grown to host over 3500 participants competing in 19 different sports. The Mississauga 2022 Ontario Summer Games will be the 26th edition.
Of the 57 events entered by the Coyote Club, our runners managed to get 43 new or first time personal best times, despite the gusty winds, and 14 different athletes managing to place in the top three in their events with 5 being double medalists on the day. The club will continue to train for the next month in preparation for the Provincial championship races which are held in July.
Coyote Clean up Day - May 14, 2022
On Saturday May 14th, the Georgian Bay Coyotes and their families and several dedicated community members spent hours doing a community clean up at the track on Aiken street. The entire track was weeded, edged and swept, as were the jump pits. The jump pits were tilled and refreshed with a new load of sand. The bleachers were moved off the track which will allow for heats of runners to be organized on the track once more. Younger members of the club spent time picking up garbage and sticks, removing many hazards from the runways for the jump pits. All this hard work left the track and field in great shape for the elementary students upcoming track and field meets. Many thanks go out to all of those who pitched in to help.
Coyotes compete at BAA meet in Kincardine. - May 12, 2022
Photo: Members of the Georgian Bay Coyotes Track Club compete at the 2022 BAA meet. From left: Ethan Mei, Wes Brown, Vani Mahajan, Lindy Kingston
The high school track and field season officially kicked off this past Thursday, May 12 with the first competition of the season. The high school season is short and incredibly difficult, with each meet determining the qualifiers for the next meet; each of which draws athletes from a larger geographical area until ultimately, the athletes get to compete at OFSAA; the Ontario high school championships only a few short weeks after the season begins. Athletes need to be able to run just hard enough to qualify for their next race and not tire themselves out too much as competitions are often less than a week apart and recovery time is short.
On May 12, athletes from our local school board poured into Kincardine for the Bluewater Athletic Association (BAA) meet. The Georgian Bay Coyotes Track club had six athletes competing at this year’s meet; 4 competing for St. Mary’s High School in Owen Sound and 2 competing for GBCS in Meaford. In the Novice boy's category, Ethan Mei finished 1st in the 1500m, Haiden Green finished 2nd in the 3000m and 3rd in the 800m, Denon Taylor finished 1st in the 400m and 4th in the 800m, and Wes Brown finished 7th in the 800m. In the Novice girl's category Lindy Kingston finished 4th in the 800m, 6th in the 1500m and 1st as part of her school’s 4 x 400m relay team. Vani Mahajan finished 2nd in the 800m, 3rd in the 1500m and 2nd as part of her school’s 4 x 100m relay team.
Overall, it was a great day for our Coyote Athletes with five athletes qualifying to compete at CWOSSA (Central Western Ontario Secondary School Athletics) this upcoming Wednesday, May 18 in Brantford. We wish them success as CWOSSA is one of Ontario's most difficult regions to progress through.
Coyote Set new Provincial Record at 2022 AO U14 Indoor Championships Apr. 24, 2022
Photo: Emmett Leary wins gold in the Boys U14 2000m and sets a new Athletics Ontario Provincial Indoor Championships record in the event.
On April 24 two members of the Georgian Bay Coyotes Track Club attended the final indoor track and field meet of the 2022 season at the Toronto Track and Field Centre; the Athletics Ontario Rising Stars U14 and U12 Provincial Indoor Championships. The Coyotes Track club has already begun training for their outdoor season so this was a bit of a bonus race for these two young athletes to see how they could stand up against the best in the Province at slightly longer race distances than they are accustomed.
The first Coyote to step on the track was Emmett Leary in the boys under 14 2000m (2km) race. This was the first time that Emmett has raced the 2000m and he had high expectations for himself going into the race. He certainly did not disappoint. When the starter fired the gun Emmett took his usual place at the back of the pack in order to gage the speed of the other runners. With an overall slow start to the race Emmett then proceeded to pass each of the other runners on the very first of the ten lap race and never looked back. With each lap his lead grew larger and when crossing the finish line he stopped the clock in an amazing 6:36.87, beating his closest competitor by more than 22 seconds and setting a new Provincial Indoor record for U14 boys; breaking the old mark set in 2014 by more than 6 seconds. Officials reviewed the timing of the race and signed off on the paperwork to officially recognize Emmett’s time in the Athletics Ontario Record book. The result will now be reviewed by AO officials and hopefully ratified at an upcoming meeting.
The second Coyote to step on the track was Nathan Leary in the boys U12 1000m race. There were some familiar faces at the starting line as Nathan has raced against a few of these boys in prior races. Nathan started the race strong and continued to set a great pace throughout the entire race and demonstrated a strong finishing kick. Nathan finished 5th overall with a time of 3:51.45, setting a new personal best time for himself in the process.
It was a fun day of racing but now the focus shifts back to training for the outdoor season which culminates with the Provincial championships in late July. The Coyotes currently have more than 35 amazing young athletes ages 7-16 who train at the old GBCS track in Meaford.
Coyotes Shine at 2022 MTA Indoor Provincial Track Championships