Home > Articles > High School Sports > Stunning performance nets La Salle's Heather Jaros an OFSAA gold medal
Stunning performance nets La Salle's Heather Jaros an OFSAA gold medal
Posted: June 8th, 2013 @ 12:58am
By CLAUDE SCILLEY
OSHAWA - So expressive was Heather Jaros' face coming down the final stretch of the Civic Fields track Friday afternoon it was difficult to tell exactly what it was displaying.
Was it the strain of a dazzling late-race kick that put a good 30 metres between her and the rest of the field in the junior girls 1,500 metres final? Or was it a smile almost as broad as that lead, from knowing victory was imminent?
"It was a little bit of a grin," Jaros allowed. "I knew I'd win and I felt good."
Oh, yes. There was also the matter of the clock that faced her as she approached the finish line, the one that showed she was about to establish a 10-second personal best.
"Yeah, I did (see it)," she said. "I'm really happy about that."
With good reason.
Jaros stopped the clock after 4 minutes, 26.85 seconds. Not only was that the best time she's ever run - by 9.35 seconds, a stunning improvement from, in this case, one week to the next - it also marked a 28-second improvement over the course of the four-week high school track season.
The record that Jaros broke by almost seven seconds was set two years ago by Jaimie Phelan of Kitchener St. Mary's. Two races after Jaros took her junior record away Friday afternoon, Phelan broke a 31-year-old Canadian interscholastic record when she won the senior girls race in 4:22.03.
How significant is that? Jaros, a second year high school competitor, not only had a monstrous personal best, a gold medal and a new OFSAA record - it was the third week in a row where she broke a meet record - she was less than five seconds away from breaking one of the longest-standing national high school records for female athletes of any age.
Even more remarkable for Jaros, it came in a circumstance to which she is relatively unaccustomed. Through the first three meets of the season, she essentially raced by herself, quickly leaving her challengers far behind in races that soon left the clock as her only opponent.
In Thursday's heat she experienced runners around her for, essentially, the first time this year. She finished third, with a time that was sixth best among the 12 runners who qualified for the final but perhaps more importantly a bit of knowledge to file away for Friday's race.
Jaros was running in seventh place through the first 300 metres, dropped as far back as ninth and ran sixth through the middle part of the race before moving up to third with about 600 metres to go. A solid third as the final lap began, Jaros matched the leaders when they picked up the pace. She took the lead with 300 metres remaining and won going away.
"I had a feeling they were going to go out too fast the first lap so I just kind of stayed near the back," Jaros said. "Then after they continued I slowly moved myself up until the last 300, when I decided to kick, and the last 200 I went for it."
Jaros said her inexperience in a competitive field left her a little unsure of exactly what to do, and when.
"I didn't want to kick too soon, in case I died in the last 100 (metres) and they'd catch up to me again, so I made sure I didn't go too soon," she said. "I felt really good (with 300 to go). There was nothing to complain about. My legs felt good so I thought I might as well just go for it."
Jaros said she was taking greater delight in her time, more than the medal, her first on the track at OFSAA after finishing 10th in the 1,500 metres and fifth in the 800 metres as a midget last year.
"I wanted a PB," she said. "I kind of wanted to medal but my goal was more for the PB."
Jaros's medal is the only gold won so far by a Kingston-area athlete at the 64th Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations track and field championships.
There were three bronze medals won: by Sydenham's Wade Embury, in senior boys 400 metres - his second in two years - by Cole Norton of Prince Edward in Picton, in junior boys 100 metres, and by Shirley Hughes of Sydenham, in the open girls 100 metres for intellectually disabled athletes.
There were other highlights that didn't result in a medal for local competitors, who generated 12 top-eight performances, eight personal bests and five season bests.
Thirteenth seed Brittney Patterson of Sydenham, who hadn't won a race all year and gained the last qualifying berth at the regional meet last week, established a personal record, 12.54 seconds, in the heats of junior girls 80-metre hurdles and qualified for the final, where she finished eighth. She later subbed on Sydenham's 1,600-metre relay team, helping it to a season-best time that ultimately wasn't good enough to reach Saturday's final.
Nicole Armstrong of Sydenham, a three-time OFSAA medalist over other distances, was fifth in senior girls 1,500 metres, in a season-best time of 4:33.09, an improvement of more than six seconds from last week's regional time and a 21-second improvement from the start of the high school season.
Though he finished eighth in midget boys 1,500 metres, Kingston's Cameron Linscott established a seven-second personal best when he finished the race in 4 minutes 11.53 seconds. Linscott's KC teammate, Ben Workman, led for much of the junior boys 1,500 metres, ultimately finishing sixth in 4 minutes 4.47 seconds, a six-second personal best.
With a personal-best put of 13.98 metres, a 1.85-metre improvement over the last four weeks, Drew Marquette finished seventh in midget boys shot put, the best performance at OFSAA by an athlete from Queen Elizabeth in recent memory.
There was also misfortune for athletes, none more heart-breaking than that which befell first-year hurdler Nicole Zohorsky of Bayridge. Zohorsky, the East region champion in midget girls 80-metre hurdles and the No. 3 seed going into the meet, won her heat Friday morning with the third-fastest qualifying time overall. She was among the leaders in Friday afternoon's final when she hit a hurdle and fell hard on the track. She got up and finished the race but was disqualified for having gone out of her lane in the crash.
The three-day meet concludes today.
Results of Kingston-area athletes Friday on the second day of the 64th Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations track and field championships at the Oshawa Civic Recreation Complex:
Danny Amaral, Regiopolis Notre Dame
Ran open boys 100 metres for athletes with an intellectual disability in 13.95 seconds, finishing sixth in his section and ninth overall.
Nicole Armstrong, Sydenham
Finished fifth in the final of senior girls 1,500 metres in a personal-best 4 minutes 33.09 seconds.
Tanner Armstrong, Frontenac
Had a best attempt of 41.37 metres, matching his season best, and finished 20th in midget boys javein.
Kara Blair, Rideau District
Had a best attempt of 4.60 metres and finished 22nd in midget girls long jump.
Lilie Dixon, La Salle
Cleared 1.50 metres and finished 11th in junior girls high jump.
Wade Embury, Sydenham
Won the bronze medal in senior boys 400 metres in a personal-best 48.12 seconds.
Shirley Hughes, Sydenham
Won the bronze medal in open girls 100 metres for athletes with an intellectual disability in 16.36 seconds.
Heather Jaros, La Salle
Won the gold medal in junior girls 1,500 metres, in modern OFSAA-record 4 minutes 26.85 seconds.
Jonah Johnson, Holy Cross
Had a best attempt of 15.12 metres and finished eighth in junior boys shot put.
Jenny Lapp, Kingston
Cleared a personal-best 2.20 metres and finished tied for 15th in midget girls pole vault.
Darien Leblanc, Holy Cross
Ran senior boys 100 metres in season-best 11.29 seconds, finished sixth in the slow heat and did not qualify for the final. His time was 18th overall.
Cameron Linscott, Kingston
Finished eighth in the final of midget boys 1,500 metres, in a personal-best 4 minutes 11.53 seconds.
Eric Lusk, Sydenham
Ran midget boys 100-metre hurdles in 15.60 seconds, finished sixth in the fast heat and did not qualify for the final. His time was 20th overall.
Branna MacDougall, Regiopolis Notre Dame
Finished seventh in the final of midget girls 1,500 metres, in 4 minutes 42.94 seconds.
Drew Marquette, Queen Elizabeth
Had a best attempt of 13.98 metres, a personal best, and finished seventh in midget boys shot put.
Shayla Moore, Holy Cross
Ran junior girls 80-metre hurdles in 12.87 seconds, finished fourth in the slow heat and did not qualify for the final. Her time was 14th overall.
Cole Norton, Prince Edward
Ran junior boys 100 metres in 10.87 seconds, won the fast heat and qualified for the final. His time was first overall.
* Ran the final in 10.93 seconds and won the bronze medal.
Brittney Patterson, Sydenham
Ran junior girls 80-metre hurdles in season best 12.54 seconds, finished third in the fast heat and qualified for the final. Her time was eighth overall.
* Finished in the final in 14.55 seconds.
Brayden Raymond, Holy Cross
Had a best attempt of 11.90 metres and finished 17th in junior boys triple jump.
Garrett Thompson, Sydenh
Ran open boys 100 metres for boys with an intellectual disability in 13.44 seconds, finished fourth in the fast heat, fourth overall.
Chelsea Wood, Rideau District
Ran junior girls 80-metre hurdles in 13.38 seconds, finished sixth in the fast heat and did not qualify for the final. Her time was 17th overall.
Ben Workman, Kingston
Finished sixth in the final of junior boys 1,500 metres in personal-best 4 minutes 4.47 seconds.
Nicole Zohorsky, Bayridge
Ran midget girls 80-metre hurdles in 12.42 seconds, won the slow heat and qualified for the final. Her time was third overall.
* Hit the fifth hurdle, fell and was disqualified in the final.
Sydenham Open Boys
Ben Trickey, Jay Dearborn, Eamon Hillis and Wade Embury won the second-fastest heat of open boys 1,600-metre relay in season-best 3 minutes 22.75 seconds and qualified for Saturday's final. Their time was second overall.
Sydenham Open Girls
Celina Gray, Brittney Patterson, Emelyn Fauvel and Amanda Tibbutt ran open girls 1,600-metre relay in season-best 4 minutes 7.13 seconds, finished sixth in their heat and did not qualify for the final. Their time was 16th overall.
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