By CLAUDE SCILLEY
TORONTO, June 4—One day, they may reflect and allow themselves to feel a measure of pride for being, at a point in time, the fourth-best person in the entire province in their particular athletic endeavor.
On this day, however, the best Emily Fawcett and Michael Rowsell could muster was a rueful smile and a shrug of the shoulders. They could not see that theirs was a place of which all but three other competitors in Ontario were envious.
On the day you finish there, all fourth place means is you were that close to a medal.
“I hoped to medal,” said Fawcett, of Holy Cross, after she placed fourth in junior girls discus at the 66th Ontario Federation of School Athletic Federations track and field championships at the Varsity Centre. “It wasn’t my best day.”
“I was hoping for third,” said Rowsell, the midget-aged high jumper from Regiopolis Notre Dame. “I thought I was going to do better.”
Their performances were among the best by Kingston-area athletes on the first day of the three-day meet. There were no medals and local relay teams were 0-for-6 when it came to qualifying out of the heats, but six athletes in field events finished in the top eight, six athletes on the track qualified for Friday finals and there were six personal-best performances by the 20 athletes who contested individual events.
Fawcett’s best throw, 31.80 metres, came on her fourth attempt, her first of the final round. It was a hair off her best of the season, the 32.03 toss with which she won at EOSSAA two weeks ago.
“My first throw was really good, unlike last year, when my first throw was really bad,” said Fawcett, who rebounded from that start a year ago to win a silver medal.
“It didn’t really go uphill from there.”
Fawcett finished three metres out of the medals on a day when Grace Tennant of South Lincoln in Smithville would set a new meet record at 45.16 metres, almost four metres beyond the old mark.
Rowsell, at his first OFSAA meet, said it was intimidating to see the performance list and note that one of his opponents, Joshua McCarroll of Maple, cleared 1.86 metres a week ago.
Rowsell’s best, 1.79 metres, set a modern EOSSAA record two weeks ago; at the regional meet, where he came second, he cleared 1.75 metres.
Today, he was over the bar at every height through 1.75 without a fault, but he failed in three attempts to clear 1.78 metres, which proved to be the bronze-medal height.
“The first two (attempts) my butt hit the bar but on the last one, my heel just touched it,” Rowsell said. “The last one felt good, until I heard the bar hit the ground.”
McCarroll ultimately won the event, the only competitor to clear 1.87 metres.
On a day when there would be no medals, there were nonetheless some fine performances by local athletes:
• Amanda Black, the junior from Kingston Collegiate, had a personal-best 5.27-metre jump on her final attempt, moving up two places to finish sixth in junior girls long jump.
• Brogan MacDougall of Regiopolis Notre Dame had the fastest time in qualifying for Friday’s final in midget girls 1,500 metres: 4 minutes 43.36 seconds.
• Hailey Wolfgram of Regi finished sixth in senior girls shot put (11.87 metres), an event where Napanee’s Leah Hill finished eighth with a personal-best put of 11.07 metres.
• Adam Burggraf of Bayridge made the final of junior boys discus, and finished eighth.
Besides MacDougall, five other Kingston Area athletes qualified for finals Friday, three of them from Holy Cross. Max Taylor and Emmett Bravakis both set new personal bests in midget boys 400 metres—where Taylor posted the fourth-best time overall—while Jonathan Besselink will run Friday afternoon in the final of open boys 2,000-metre steeplechase.
The other qualifiers on the track were junior Jacquelyn Quesnel and senior Ben Workman, both of KC, who advanced to their respective 1,500-metres finals.
Competition resumes Friday, with finals in 17 field events, heats and finals in the 100 metres and sprint hurdles, finals in the steeplechase, 400 metres, 1,500 metres and 400-metre relays, and heats in the 1,600-metre relays.