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Injured wrist doesn’t keep Nicole Zohorsky down

May 25, 2013
Nicole Zohorsky of Bayridge won three events at the Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association track and field championships Friday in Brockville.   — sportsgate.ca photo

Nicole Zohorsky of Bayridge won three events at the Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association track and field championships Friday in Brockville. — sportsgate.ca photo

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

BROCKVILLE — If kissing the track is part of a hurdler’s apprenticeship, Nicole Zohorsky is well on her way to earning a union card.

“I’ve fallen a couple of times,” she said with a shrug and a nod Friday afternoon to the guard protecting her right wrist. “This was the first time I’ve hurt myself.”

If the ease with which an athlete dusts herself off after tripping over a hurdle is a portent of success, things look promising for the Grade 9 athlete from Bayridge. Indeed, she said Friday, having already taken some tumbles likely helped her to overcome her most recent training mishap with such aplomb.

“Exactly,” said Zohorsky, who counted victories in the intermediate and sprint hurdles among her three wins at the Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association championships at Thousand Islands Secondary School.

Zohorsky fell during practice a couple of nights before the EOSSA meet began Thursday. Rather than despair at the thought of once more navigating the two-foot, six-inch barriers, she said she couldn’t wait to get back on the track.

“Mostly, it pushed me more,” she said. “It’s the same as my sister (Katie, a senior hurdler). She’s running on injured knees.

“It doesn’t really matter as long as you keep on going.”

X-rays revealed the wrist is not broken, but hyperextended. “It’s all good,” she said.

Well, not quite. The apparatus protecting the injured wrist restricts movement of her fingers and makes it difficult to assume the set position at the start line. “It’s tough to do starts,” she said, “but there’s nothing in the actual running.”

Indeed, Zohorsky said her 300-metre hurdles race Thursday “was one of my better races.”

“It was strong from the beginning. I had a lot of energy so I could really push to the end.”

Her time, 48.55 seconds, is a personal best.

In Friday’s 100 metres, Zohorsky lamented her inexperience working with starting blocks. “I’m not very good at starting,” she said.

“(The race) was actually pretty hard. I felt like I was going to get passed at the beginning, then I guess I just pulled it together at the end.”

A competitive dancer, Zohorsky said her studio background is standing her in good stead in her new athletic endeavour. Her sprint hurdles final, she said, “actually felt like a really good race for me.”

It produced another lifetime mark, 12.89 seconds, an improvement of more than six-tenths of a second over her time in the KASSAA heats just a week ago.

Her success suggests her pre-race objectives for EOSSA — to finish in the top five, and thereby advance to next week’s regional meet — were modest.

“To get first in all of them,” she said, “is pretty exciting.”

Now, she said, a spot at the provincial high school championships in Oshawa next month has crept into her ambitions. “I’m hoping to make it to OFSAA in at least one of my events,” she said.

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