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Kingston-area athletes win six medals on Day 2 of OFSAA track and field meet

June 6, 2014

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

MISSISSAUGA — At a meet that manufactures thrilling memories like almost no other athletic competition, she may have been the happiest person in the whole park.

“I really, really wanted a medal,” Branna MacDougall said, practically jumping out of her skin with delight after her wish came true in bronze at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations track and field championships.

“I wanted one so bad … I was so happy when I got one.”

MacDougall’s medal, in the junior girls 1,500 metres late Friday afternoon, was one of six won by Kingston-area athletes Friday on the second day of the three-day meet:

• Heather Jaros of La Salle is the only gold medalist, in senior girls 1,500 metres, a race where she stumbled at the end but held on to win at that distance for the second year in a row;

• Emily Fawcett of Holy Cross had a personal-best throw of 30.12 metres to claim the silver in midget girls discus;

• Shirley Hughes of Sydenham won silver in ambulatory girls 100 metres, her second OFSAA medal in as many years;

• Emily Drouin, MacDougall’s Regiopolis Notre Dame teammate, won bronze in open girls 1,500-metre steeplechase;

• Adam Burggraf of Bayridge won bronze with a personal-best performance in midget boys javelin.

Those medals, added to the silver won by Hailey Wolfgram in junior girls shot put Thursday, give Regi three medals so far, the most by the school at an OFSAA track meet since 2003, when Bobby Tozer won two silver and Sam Gouett added another.

None of the other medalists had as much difficulty containing their pure joy as MacDougall, who claimed third place with a season-best time, 4 minutes 37.78 seconds.

“On the final straightaway, I kind of looked back, which I know I shouldn’t do, but I was looking to see if I was in the clear and I was,” MacDougall said. “I though ‘Oh, my god, I’ve finally got a medal!”

MacDougall was in contention for a medal last year, too, but it all went horribly wrong. She wasn’t about to let that happen again.

This time, she jockeyed between fourth and fifth place on the rail until the bell signalled the final lap. At that point the she took off with the two leading runners and the three quickly broke away from the pack.

MacDougall never caught the lead pair, but neither was she seriously challenged for the bronze medal.

“My whole plan was not to go out too fast, because I did that last year and it ended in complete disaster,” she recalled. “The first lap (today), all the girls kept it in perfect control so it was looking good. Then with 500 metres to go the top four picked it up and we just kind of went.

“When the final lap started, the top two girls are absolutely amazing runners. The one who ended up winning, she has this monster finish, so I just tried to hold on. I was a lot closer than I thought I’d end up being at the end.”

Allison Anderson of Toronto Malvern won the race in 4:35.78.

MacDougall recalled the “disaster” of a year ago in vivid detail.

“We went out crazy fast year, me and two or three other girls,” she said. “The other three could hang onto it but I just wasn’t strong enough then.

“I was in the top three until the last quarter of the race and my legs just gave out on me. I couldn’t run. It must have taken me a minute to get down the final stretch. I didn’t want to do that this year. I ran my race perfectly and it worked out well for me.”

MacDougall will also contest the junior girls 800 metres Saturday.

In addition to the seven medals won to date, 19 Kingston-area competitors have enjoyed top-eight performances. Five athletes have established new personal bests, and 11 others have had season bests.

Among the two fourth-place performances was that of Kingston Collegiate’s Marissa Battle in midget girls 100 metres. Battle, whose qualifying time was the eighth fastest in the morning, finished fourth in the final, 17 one-hundredths of a second away from a medal in a race where runners four through seven were separated by just one-tenth of a second.

Hard-luck athlete of the day doubtless was Sydenham junior hurdler Tyler Cancian. He finished third in his heat, missing by two one-hundredths of a second getting one of the two automatic qualifying spots in the final. When stacked against the remainder of the field, he stood five one-hundredths of a second off having one of the other two fastest times.

Competition concludes Saturday.

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