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Kingston-area athletes set six new records at EOSSAA track and field meet

May 24, 2014

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

BROCKVILLE — He won two races here but the one Cameron Linscott wanted to talk about Friday was the one he didn’t win.

“The focus today was the 800,” Linscott said,” because I knew Nick Adams would be out for my money after KASSAA.”

Linscott, the junior athlete from Kingston Collegiate, had already won two events at the Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association track and field championships — the 1,500 metres and the 3,000 metres — by the time the 800 rolled around late Friday afternoon.

The first came in convincing fashion, a seven-second victory Thursday night with a personal-best time. The second came after a stirring finish earlier Friday, where the top three competitors in a nine-and-a-half-minute race were separated by a little more than two and a half seconds.

Linscott’s final race of the meet ended with Adams, from Sydenham, overtaking him in the final 60 metres. Though the effort to withstand the challenge failed, it led Linscott to improve his personal-best time in the event by more than three seconds, to 2:04.60.

At the county championship last week, Adams put on the same late push in the last 100 metres but came up two-tenths of a second short. “I knew he had the speed,” Linscott said, and he figured Adams would have learned from that experience to start his kick that much sooner.

“The strategy from the get-go was to make sure Nick was working hard,” Linscott said. “I knew that he had more speed than me so I counted on my aerobic ability and tried to take the pace out as hard as I possibly could.”

The first 400 metres was covered in about 61 seconds, Linscott said. “We were shooting for 60, or maybe a little bit below,” he said. This time Adams launched his bid to catch Linscott with about 250 metres to go.

“I tried to match him but he kind of edged me into the bend and I really didn’t have enough speed to deal with him.”

Linscott also raced from the front of the field in the 3,000 metres, the distance at which he won a bronze medal as a midget at OFSAA last year. This time, the late challenge came from Ryan Dowdall of La Salle.

“My coach (Brent Workman) told me to make sure I went out, just in case,” Linscott said. “With 200 metres to go Brent yelled, ‘He’s coming!’ and I looked back and, sure enough, Ryan was coming on to me.

“I had more than enough left to put a strong enough move to seal the deal. It was good.”

Performance-wise, Linscott said the 1,500 metres was his best race. His time, 4 minutes 11.35 seconds, was 18 one-hundredths of a second better than the one he posted in the final at the provincial championship a year ago, when he finished eighth.

“I felt like I had stuff in the tank at the end, so I’m confident going into OFSAA,” he said. “That tells me I’m in good enough shape to go out and compete in the 1,500. Last year I was just off the lead pack. I was in no-man’s land. My goal this year is to edge on to the pack, stick with it, and make everyone work hard (to beat me).”

Linscott said work he did during the winter has improved his leg speed.

“At the end of the 1,500 (last year at OFSAA) I got to the finish and I was one of the first to recover aerobically, but my legs just couldn’t keep up. I just didn’t have the turnover,” he said. “I’ve found in workouts and races this year the turnover is definitely coming around.”

Linscott’s performances were among several splendid efforts in the middle distances, where Kingston Area athletes distinguished themselves in the two-day eastern Ontario meet, from where the top finishers in each event earned the right to advance to the East Regional meet next week in Ottawa.

KASSAA athletes won 11 of the 18 divisions of 800, 1,500 and 3,000 metres at EOSSAA, where the top competitors from the six eastern Ontario associations gathered. Forty-one of the 90 qualifying spots for next week’s regional meet were captured by Kingston-area athletes.

No athletes performed better in the entire meet than La Salle senior Heather Jaros and Regiopolis Notre Dame junior Branna MacDougall. Each won three events, and in doing so each set two meet records.

MacDougall took two records from her Physi-Kult teammate Jaros, one by the narrowest of margins — one-100th of a second, in the 1,500 metres — and the other by a staggering amount, almost 23 seconds in the 3,000 metres. Just a week after wowing onlookers when she won the county title with a record-setting time of 9 minutes, 53.8 seconds, MacDougall stopped the EOSSAA clock in 9:43.99.

Jaros, however, came away from the meet with the same number of entries in the record book, after she established new standards in the 800 metres (2 minutes 11.95 seconds) and 1,500 metres (4 minutes 36.12 seconds). In the latter event, she took more than two and a half seconds off a record that had stood since Jennifer Mather of Brockville Thousand Islands set it 28 years ago.

In all, local athletes won 38 of the 104 events at the two-day meet, and they set six of the 11 meet records.

In addition to the records set by MacDougall and Jaros, a pair of Regi athletes also established new marks — Emily Drouin, in the open girls 1,500-metre steeplechase (5 minutes, 20.50 seconds) and Danny Amaral in the 100 metres for the intellectually impaired (14.07 seconds).

Besides Linscott, five Kingston-area competitors each won two events on Friday, a day that began with rain on and off in the morning, continued under a cloudy sky in the afternoon and ended in a downpour:

• Ben Cross of Frontenac established personal bests in winning both the senior boys javelin (50.34 metres) and triple jump (13.08 metres). He was second in the long jump by just three centimetres.

• Adam Burggraf of Bayridge won both midget boys discus and javelin.

• Marissa Battle of KC won the midget girls 100 and 200 metres. Her time in the 100, 12.81 seconds, matched the fourth-fastest time in any of the three female divisions.

• Jacquelyn Quesnel of KC won the midget girls 800 and 1,500 metres, with five-second margins of victory in both.

• Hailey Wolfgram of Regi won junior girls shot put and discus. Her best attempt in the latter, 32.70 metres, was more than six metres better than the rest of the field.

Next week’s meet, Thursday and Friday at the Terry Fox Athletic Complex, is one of five regional meets being held to determine who will advance to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championships, June 5-7 in Mississauga.

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