By RON FANFAIR
Pickering has etched its name in Ontario high school sports history, becoming the first academic institution to repeat as boys and girls track and field champions.
The Durham-area school amassed 67 points in the boys division to finish eight points ahead of Sarnia’s Northern Collegiate High. On the distaff side, Pickering came out on top with 60 points which was nine more than second-place Ajax High School.
“This is indeed special for both the athletes and the school,” said coach Cyril Sahadath. “I have always instilled in my athletes that the team comes first and I am delighted in the way in which they embrace that concept. This is a proud moment for us to celebrate.”
The team captured just two gold medals. Grade Nine student Yazin Joseph won the midget boys 100-metre hurdles final and was a member of the victorious 4 x 100-metre relay team.
A total of six silver and four bronze medals along with three fourth place, four fifth and one six place finish helped Pickering secure its seventh boys and third girls titles at the annual Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) championships at the University of Western Ontario’s TD Waterhouse stadium in London last weekend.
The school entered a girls team for the first time four years ago.
Teams are awarded 10 points for a victory, eight for a second place finish and six for finishing third.
“The important thing is to make it to the finals,” said Sahadath. “We did that 20 times and obviously achieved what we set out to do.”
Grade Nine student Nichelle Prince clinched silver medals in the100-metre midget, the 4 x 100-metre junior and 4 x 400-metre open relay events and a bronze medal in the midget girls 200-metre final while Maya Daly and Noelle Leon-Palmer were part of the second-place 4 x 100-metre junior and 4 x 400-metre open relay teams.
James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic Secondary School student-athlete Andre Ford-Azonwanna captured gold medals in the 100 (11.14), 200 (21.77) and 400 (50.95) midget events while senior Aaron Brown failed in his attempt to finish his high school career with three gold medals on championship weekend when he suffered a leg injury in the 200-metre final.
The Birchmount Collegiate Institute’s two-sport athlete, who has committed to the University of Southern California, won the 100-metre dash in 10.74 secs. and was part of the winning 4 x 100-metre team.
Track and field newcomer Khamica Bingham of Heart Lake Secondary School in Brampton stole the spotlight in the junior girls category, securing victory in the 100-metre final in 12.14 secs. and running the 200-metre event in a record 24.42 secs.
Bramalea Secondary School’s Jonelle Bell-Spence breasted the tape first in the 100-metre senior dash in 12.15 secs., Crystal Emmanuel of Vaughan Road Secondary won the 200-metre senior final in 24.13 secs. and Chanice Taylor-Chase of Notre Dame High School in Ajax was victorious in the 100-metre senior hurdles in 13.65 secs.