Lo­cal pub­lic school ath­letes put in strong show­ing at Water­loo county fi­nals

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - FAISAL ALI

WHILE THE EDSS TRACK and field team has been tear­ing it up this sea­son, their younger coun­ter­parts at the el­e­men­tary level picked up more than a few wins of their own at the county fi­nals last week. Com­pet­ing in the regionwide track com­pe­ti­tion at Cam­bridge’s Jacob He­speler Sec­ondary School over the week­end, sev­eral of the town­ship’s pri­mary school stu­dents came through with a podium fin­ish.

Amongst the many stu­dents to emerge with the gold, sil­ver or bronze were sev­eral from the pub­lic schools in Welles­ley, Con­estogo, Bres­lau and Elmira’s Park Manor.

For the gold medal­ist in the U13 400-me­tre dash, Bres­lau PS stu­dent Chanithi Ban­daranayake, win- ning at the county’s was just one more step in the run­ner’s am­bi­tions. The stu­dent moved prodi­giously over the course of the sea­son from her division through to place first in the re­gion­als, which even­tu­ally led to her first-place fin­ish at the county fi­nals.

More­over, last year, the Bres­lau run­ner com­peted at the 2017 Ath­let­ics On­tario Ban­tam Mid­get Youth Cham­pi­onships, and placed first in the 4x100-me­tre re­lay event. Claim­ing a gold at the provin­cials, Ban­daranayake has now set her sights even higher on qual­i­fy­ing for the na­tion­als.

“We got gold in that at provin­cials,” she ex­plained. “But for na­tion­als, you can’t go un­less you qual­ify.”

This year, Ban­daranayake is try­ing for the 300-me­tre solo run at na­tion­als, which re­quires her to run a best of 43.50 sec­onds. Whether she’ll be able to achieve that num­ber, Ban­daranayake ad­mits she hasn’t at­tempted it.

“I’m not re­ally sure, we haven’t run one yet,” she says. “My 200-(me­tre) is around 27 sec­onds.”

Whether the young ath­lete will qual­ify for the na­tion­als will be de­ter­mined in the com­ing weeks.

“I would like to go to na­tion­als and maybe win a medal there, but I don’t know,” she said.

Ban­daranayake will be head­ing to high school next year, and says she is def­i­nitely com­mit­ted to her ath­leti­cism on the track field.

“I’m so proud of her,” added her mother Chathurika Ten­nakoon. “I thought that she de­served it. She prac­tices a lot ... and I want to see that she goes to na­tion­als.”

From Welles­ley PS, Mia Thomp­son took home the sil­ver in the girls’ 800-me­tre 12-year-olds. From Con­estogo, Abby By­ers placed first in the 13-year-old 200-me­tre dash and long jump; Chris Melvin won the U12 boys’ triple jump; and Thomas Martinez claimed the U14 boys shot put.

Out of Park Manor were gold-medal­ists Haylee Clem­mer and Jamie Craw­ford; sil­ver-medal­ists Mor­gan Fleet, Liam Eveleigh; and bronze win­ners Kieran Ste­wart and Jamie Craw­ford again. St. Jacobs fielded gold win­ner Zachary Brown in the boys U13 shot put. And out rep­re­sent­ing Bres­lau was first-place Chanithi Ban­daranayake and bronze win­ner in the Joseph Nes­ral­lah.

[FAISAL ALI / THE OBSERVER]

Chanithi Ban­daranayake took gold at last week’s Water­loo Re­gion county’s track and field event in the U13 400-me­tre dash.

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