Busy, Busy Times in School Track and Field
What a week in high school track and field - as if the gusty winds, rain and cold wasn't enough to create havoc for student athletes.
Some really superb individual performances and some disappointments. Some teams dominated and others fizzled in pressure situations. Some surprises at the Toronto-area Public, Catholic and private school finals - all qualifiers for the Metro Regionals. This is when the cream of the crop shine in the big city, but organizers don't keep any records to compare performances of past. Bizarre.
Got around to thinking of the ole' days when I was fortunate to see many high schoolers live out dreams to compete for Canada internationally - and even at the Olympic Games. Fast forward and I would wager some of these kids today will be wearing Canadian red and white very soon.
Lots of pre-race attention the past few days for 14-year-old Andre Ford-Azonwanna, the grade 9 sprinter at Cardinal McGuigan High in Toronto, who covered the midget boys' 100 metres in 11.44 seconds at the TDCAA finals. He was disappointed with the time, but the weather was less than ideal - including puddles on the Etobicoke Centennial Stadium track. It also didn't help that several members of his track team and spectators chose to fight in the stands just before his race, which may have thrown him off a bit. Two weeks ago, Ford-Azonwanna ran the 100 metres in 10.89. Not bad at all.
Some people were quick to tell me about Brandon Bobb, also 14 years old and a student at Saint Charles Garnier in Whitby. They claim he ran the distance in 10.84 at the Paul Dwyer mini-meet in Oshawa. Maybe so, but it was hand-timed; Ford-Azonwanna was electronically timed.
Still, should be quite the race at the provincial finals.
Father Henry Carr, St. Michael's and Birchmount Park appear to have some teams stacked with talent. Carr coach Peter Miller does a great job and he should be happy with the 24 medals won by his team and three records at the TDCAA finals. I also enjoyed watching grade 10 star Akeel Lynch from St. Michael's, not sure if he's better at track or scoring touchdowns for his school team. Birchmount Park's athletes did very well at the Toronto District School Board East finals. There was U.S. College bound Aaron Brown and Merid Seleshi, but triple field event winner Brittany Crew was my pick.
York Region, Durham Region and Peel Region all have their meets, along with the Metros, before everyone scatters for the Victoria Day weekend.
I also wonder what lies ahead for sprinter Joel Odosa, from McGuigan, who got the heave-ho by organizers for being the aggressor in that fight mentioned above. He`s a great athlete and one of four on the midget boys' 400-metre relay team that could be the fastest in Ontario.
But, he didn`t run the relay in the TDCAA final. The team, with a sub, placed second and still advances. Here's the interesting part. Odosa can still be re-instated for the Metros. That decision rests with either the McGuigan school administration, the TDCAA - or both.
Stay tuned. When I know, so will you.