On 6 May 2016, Marc Garneau’s track and field team competed at the annual Varsity High School Track and Field meet, which was held at University of Toronto’s Varsity Stadium. Seventeen of Marc Garneau’s students competed in various track events, including the 100m, 200m, 800m and 1500m races. The meet, which was a practice for the regional competition, was attended by a total of 833 students from 38 different high schools situated throughout the province.
The athletes began training for the 2015-2016 track and field season near the end of March, and showed a lot of dedication throughout the practices. The weekly training sessions started with a simple two lap warm up and stretching routine, following which the coaches, Ms. McIsaac and Ms. Elliott, worked with groups of students, helping them improve their form. Although the cold weather near the beginning of the season prevented the students from practicing outside for the first few weeks, they learned the basics of essential sprinting techniques ranging from leg movements to starting positions. The mini-meet was the first official competition in which the athletes were able to showcase the skills they had acquired through the previous month.
The day commenced with at 9 am, with the girls long jump and boys javelin events, while the first track event, the 300m and 400m hurdle races, started at 9:30 am followed by the 100m dash at 11 am. Students came an hour before their events to ensure enough time for a proper warm-up. Due to the prolonged sun exposure despite the beautiful weather, some athletes, especially those competing in multiple events, were quite exhausted after the meet. A Grade 9 athlete, Melon Lin, who competed in the 100m, 200m and 1500m races, said, “It was inspiring to see so many athletes coming from all over the province to compete and everyone’s determination was really motivating. It was a really nice day for a track meet even though I got a sunburn.”
The competition was extremely tough, but two of Marc Garneau’s runners, Victor Guo and Khalid Jan, placed in the midget 800m and 1500m race respectively. Victor placed 5th in his race, with a time of 2:30:66 minutes, while Khalid placed 4th with a time of 5:00:87 minutes. The athletes fully utilized this opportunity to get valuable feedback on their technique, which the coaches will be working with them on through the next few practices. Jeffery Qiu, who competed in the midget 100m and 200m events, said, “The track meet was a great experience in preparation for regionals. It gave crucial competitive experience but remained fun and educational.”
The coaches, Ms. McIsaac, Marc Garneau’s student success teacher, and Ms. Elliott, one of the phys Ed teachers at Marc Garneau, were extremely pleased with the performance of the athletes, who clearly exhibited the skills they had been working on through the past few weeks. They will continue working with the athletes to improve their technique, in preparation for the regional competition.
Overall, all of the athletes gave their absolute best at the mini-meet, and achieved high levels of success in their respective events. Later this month, on 16 and 17 May, the track and field team will again be competing at the regional competition, which will be held at Centennial Stadium. After regionals, the successful competitors will move onto the city competition.