By CLAUDE SCILLEY
TORONTO, June 5—Silver was the precious metal of choice for Kingston Area Athletes on Day 2 of the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations track and field championships.
Of the five medals won by local competitors, four were for second-place performances:
• Anthony Donnet of Queen Elizabeth won his second high jump medal in two years, this time silver in junior boys division.
• Frontenac’s Cole Horsman was second by a scant four one-thousandths of a second in midget boys 100 metres.
• Shirley Hughes-Ryan of Sydenham won her third provincial medal in three years, silver in the 100 metres for ambulatory girls.
• Brogan MacDougall of Regiopolis Notre Dame was second in the final of midget girls 1,500 metres.
The other Kingston medal of the day was bronze, by Loyalist’s Claire Millard in junior girls 80-metre hurdles.
Donnet’s reward for placing second was to stand in a steady rain for 20 minutes awaiting the ceremony to receive his medal.
As he stood there, it was impossible to tell that he was a provincial medalist. The body language and facial expression suggested he hadn’t done well; or perhaps even that he’d been no more than a spectator.
“I am happy,” he assured. “I’m happy I got second, it’s an improvement (from the bronze medal he won last year), but I’m never really satisfied unless I win.
“I think that I really should have won but you know what? He did better than me. He got over it and I didn’t.”
Donnet was without a miss through 1.85 metres, matching his personal best. He failed in three attempts at 1.90 metres, a height he’s attained in practice but not so far in competition.
“It was kind of upsetting,” said Donnet, who was well over the bar on his second attempt at 1.90 but clipped it with a heel on the way down. “All the jumps were upsetting. I’ve gone over it in practice. The nerves got the best of me.”
Justin Jongsma of Guido de Bres in Hamilton cleared 1.90 on his second attempt, before missing three attempts at 1.93.
Donnet is very hard on himself, QE coach Joanna Belfer said. “He once told me ‘I’ve never cried about a sport and I never will. I just get angry.’ He didn’t have his best performance at the East regional (last week, when he finished third) and I think it motivated him not to finish third again.”
MacDougall led from the start of her race in a gutsy attempt to neutralize the race-ending kick she knew her main opponent, Jocelyn Chau of Toronto’s de la Salle College, possessed. The idea was to take the race out hard, in a bid to sap Chau of of some of her late-race energy.
“She has a lot more speed than I do,” said MacDougall, who beat Chau at the OFSAA cross-country championship in the fall. “It’s harder for me in these shorter distances, especially the final 200 metres. She has really powerful legs.”
The strategy didn’t quite work. Chau caught MacDougall with about 200 metres to go and won going away. MacDougall, meanwhile, withstood a challenge from Mei Mei Weston of Ottawa Glebe to retain second place in a race that ended with a personal-best time, 4 minutes 35.02 seconds.
“My coach said to do that to get the kick out of her,” MacDougall said, “but I’m wondering if I’d stayed behind her and not taken the pace out so hard maybe I would have still had something left to give (at the end).
“I held off third, so I had a little left.”
MacDougall, undefeated this year with a meet record at every step, had the top qualifying time in Thursday’s semifinals. She was ready to go when the meet was interrupted for about an hour by a thunderstorm as the athletes were instructed to take cover.
“I felt ready. We were right at the start line and I was already nervous,” she said, “and then we had to back inside and, I don’t know, it was really hard to get back up, to get focused.
“Obviously I’m going to be a little disappointed but I’m happy because it was a good race.”
For Millard, the bronze medal was secondary to her achieving her goal for the season, finishing a race in less than 12 seconds.
“I saw people run it in OFSAA last year and I thought, ‘I need to do that,’” she said.
She was close last week, running the regional final in 12.02 seconds, a personal best by a quarter of a second. Millard won her heat Friday morning in 12.09 seconds, the third-fastest qualifying time.
In the final, Millard stopped the clock at 11.93 seconds, one one-hundredth of a second ahead of Skylar Minaker of Sarnia Northern.
It was the first OFSAA track medal won by a Loyalist athlete since Danielle Froese won gold in junior girls long jump in 1992.
“When I did 12.09, really close to my PB, I was happy but because this was my last 80-metre race, I really wanted to make it sub-12,” said Millard, who moves up to senior next year, where the races are 100 metres long. “I did it and I’m so excited about that.”
Millard said leading the morning race virtually from the start was difficult. “I like having people in front of me, actually, because it makes me push harder to catch up.”
The afternoon race, however, “felt a lot better.”
“I felt a lot calmer than in the prelim,” she said. “I was more comfortable on the track because I’d run on it, I was used to the starter … the whole atmosphere, you kind of get used to it in the second year.
“(Last year, when she didn’t make the final and finished 12th) I came up for my event and then left. I didn’t get the whole experience.”
Hughes will try to become KASSAA’s most decorated active athlete Saturday afternoon when she races 800 metres for ambulatory girls.
Friday’s medal-winning performances were among 13 top-eight finishes for local competitors.
Max Taylor of Holy Cross (midget boys 400 metres) and Dominique Hannah of Sydenham (100 metres for girls with an intellectual disability) were both fifth; Sydenham’s Merik Wilcock (junior boys 100-metre hurdles), junior Rideau District high jumper Brett Hawkins, midget javelin thrower Jeremy Piazzi of La Salle and Holy Cross senior Jonathan Besselink (open boys 2,000-metre steeplechase) each placed sixth while Liam Sands of Sydenham (midget boys 100-metre hurdles) and Emmett Bravakis of Holy Cross (midget boys 400 metres) were both eighth.
Competition concludes Saturday with finals in the remaining 14 field events; heats and finals in the intermediate hurdles, 200 metres ad 800 metres, and finals in the 3,000 metres and 1,600-metre relays.