As a rule, sprinter Ashley Huard of Hanmer is not prone to emotional outburst.
That made it all the more clear how happy the defending OFSAA senior girls 100-metre dash bronze medallist was with her time in the morning heats on Day 2 of the 2012 SDSSAA Track and Field Championships at the Laurentian track last week.
Crossing the line in 12.21 seconds, Huard bettered the mark previously established by Olympian Rebecca Johnston, lowering the former standard of 12.30 by almost a full tenth of a second. Although her time was slightly slower in the final, the gold medal was never in doubt, with Huard (12.41) finishing comfortably ahead of Clarissa Elliot of Lo-Ellen (13.22).
Along with a number of record-setting performances, the meet was also highlighted by five athletes winning their individual aggregate championships with first-place finishes in three events.
Rachel Leck (midget girl - Lockerby), Teagan Moxam (junior girl - Lockerby), John Kosar (senior boys - Lo-Ellen), Brandon Belan (senior boys - St Benedict) and Brandon Shirk (senior boys - Lasalle) all turned the trick as competition wrapped up late Thursday afternoon.
Though Moxam captured top spot in the 400-m dash (1:05.20), it is really in the hurdles where she shines, sweeping both the 80-m (13.27) and 300-m (49.32) events.
"I love doing hurdles," Moxam said between races. "I wasn't really into jumping, and this is something that involves both running and jumping — it actually made me like jumping.
"I had always seen hurdlers do it and I didn't think I could do it, so it was cool to learn how to hurdle," Moxam added.
Still only in Grade 10 and just two years into attempting to master a very technical discipline, Moxam understands that there is work that remains to be done.
"Even now, I need to work on my trail leg," she said. "Near the end (of the race), I tend to slack off. I have to remember always to bring my trail leg up instead of out — if you don't get that right, it's hard not to hit the hurdle."
Moxam walked away pretty pleased with her overall performance.
"I really wanted to come under 50 seconds for the 300, and I was (49.32), so I was happy with that," Moxam said. "And this was my first year doing 80-m hurdles. I just thought if I don't fall, I'll be happy."
Over in the field, Keegan Moore of Lo-Ellen added the junior boys javelin crown to the shot put title he won on Wednesday, smashing the previous record in the process with a toss of 51.32 metres.
In fact, his launch of the javelin on his fifth attempt on Thursday also bettered the senior boys javelin mark of 51.23, currently held by Justin Richardson of Macdonald-Cartier.
"I wanted to beat 50 metres," Moore acknowledged. "I just kept the javelin higher, tried to throw it straighter. My dad helps me out a lot, he used to throw."
In fact, Moore was sitting next to his parents, watching older brother Sean competing in the triple jump as the knowledge of his new record began to settle in.
With a background in both the jumping events and the shot puts as an elementary student at Algonquin Public, Moore made the move to throwing events somewhat pragmatically. "I couldn't jump anymore," he said with a laugh.
In fact, he bears a closer resemblance these days to the muscled Lo-Ellen linemen who ply their trade on the football field, than the lean, mean jumping machines that soar through the air at the pits.
"I like the javelin the best," he said. "It's technical, there's a lot of little things you need to tweak."
For those who move on to the NOSSA Championships this week in Sault Ste. Marie, there will be precious little time to tinker. Northern Ontario winners will move on to the OFSAA meet, being staged in Brockville (Thousand Islands Secondary School) from June 7 to 9.
Posted by Laurel Myers