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Patience pays silver dividend for Emily Fawcett

June 7, 2014

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

MISSISSAUGA — Emily Fawcett wasn’t pleased with her first throw Friday afternoon.

“My first one was pretty bad,” she said, candidly, of her opening toss in the midget girls discus competition at the provincial high school championship, “but I’m not very good at openings.”

As it turned out, there was no need to worry. Things soon got better for the young athlete from Holy Cross.

By the time she was done, Fawcett had claimed the silver medal on Day 2 of the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations meet at St. Marcellinus Secondary School.

Indeed, Fawcett opened with a throw well below the 29 metres she’s been consistently displaying all season. Then came a couple of 28-metre attempts, another in the 27 to 28-metre range. She was in second place, but with not a lot of breathing room.

She made the fifth throw worth waiting for. It went 30.12 metres downfield, farther than she’d ever thrown in competition, and it proved to be plenty to withstand whatever challenges the remainder of the field could muster.

“I sped up my feet a little and threw it a little higher,” she said, demonstrating the position of her throwing arm, relative to her right shoulder, “and it went.”

Improving both of those technical elements has been the object of recent work in practice, Fawcett said.

“I really need to work on keeping my arm back, especially in big competitions, when you get nervous and anxious.” Holding the arm back as a thrower starts her spin, she explained, pays a dividend when as she arrives at the release point. “When you get to the front it gives you a longer pull,” she said, twitching her torso forward to simulate the mechanic, “so you can throw it farther.”

For all intents and purposes the competition was over early. Grace Tennant of South Lincoln came into the event with a seed performance considerably ahead of the rest of the field, and she wound up with a best attempt of 40.67 metres, not only more than 10 metres past runner-up Fawcett, but just 11 centimetres off the modern OFSAA record.

In spite of that, Fawcett said she never conceded the gold medal.

“I’ve thrown against her before so I kind of knew she was ahead,” Fawcett said. “I wasn’t expecting to beat her but I knew it was possible if she wasn’t having a good day.

“I wasn’t going to be upset if I didn’t win.”

Though she’s in Grade 9, this was Fawcett’s third provincial championship meet, following Athletics Ontario and Royal Canadian Legion competitions. She said the experience gained at those earlier events stood her in good stead on Friday.

“Competing more in higher competitions makes it less stressful each time you do it again,” Fawcett said. “I was really nervous (today) but I knew I was seeded second coming in. Knowing you can do that, I knew that if I didn’t I wouldn’t feel a lot of stress.

“I’ve been doing this since Grade 5. It really helps because I know I can get a throw in the sector and if I don’t get it (right away), I know I can get my second one in. I don’t panic.”

Fawcett won her silver medal comfortably, with a margin of more than two metres over the bronze-medal performance of Camilla Marangelli of Tecumseh Vista.

Fawcett’s medal was the third of the meet for a member of the local throwing group coached by her father, Tim Fawcett, and former national champion Melody Torcolacci, following a silver by Regi’s Hailey Wolfgram in junior girls shot put Thursday and a bronze by Bayridge midget Adam Burggraf in javelin Friday morning.

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