Emmanuel high school Eagles soar at OFSAA track and field meet

LONDON –  Three athletes from Fergus’ Emmanuel Christian High School are celebrating after bringing home some hardware from the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) track and field championships earlier this month in London.

“I just couldn’t stop smiling,” Julie DeBoer said about her win in an email to the Advertiser.

It was the runner’s second time attending the event, where the best Ontario high school athletes compete. 

Last year, she brought home bronze in the 800-metre, and placed fourth in the 1,500m. This year, competing as a junior, DeBoer brought home gold medals in both events.

“I am glad to have been able to use my talents to the best of my ability and am also thankful for the abilities of my competitors to push me to do my best,” she stated of her success.

DeBoer said she has been running – and loving it – since she was in elementary school.

When DeBoer got to high school, she kept at it, and she credits her coaches with providing the encouragement needed to “run and run well.”

Her time in the 1,500m – 4:29.38 – qualifies her for the U20 Bell Track and Field Trials in Montreal, so DeBoer said her plan is to “keep running.”

Competing at OFSAA is an achievement in itself, as the competitors try their hardest and push themselves to their limits, she said.

“It’s really cool just to get out on the track and run your hardest race against some really good competition,” she said.

DeBoer wasn’t the only one from her school to bring home a medal.

Novice boys Parker Pieffers and Warren Kottelenberg brought home silver medals in each of their respective events.

Pieffers threw a 47.95m in the javelin for his second-place finish, and Kottelenberg cleared 1.81m in the high jump, and scored a distance of 12.73m in the triple jump to earn his two silver medals.

Kottelenberg says he enjoys competing simply because of “the fact that I can do well against other competitors,” but also finds the experience stressful.

“I’m glad I was able to come out in the top three twice, even though I didn’t have the best day,” he stated in an email.

Pieffers, who competes in the javelin, said he broke his school record, and coming second in all of Ontario in his first year of competition gives him a sense of achievement.

“I genuinely surprised myself,” he said. “I didn’t think I’d make it that far.”

He said competition is as much a mental game as a physical one, but he is driven by the constant room for improvement in the sport, and the way it feels to compete.

 Pieffers hopes to make it to a national competition, and he’s planning to keep training and practising for next year.

“Because practice makes progress,” he said.

Together, the boys succeeded in bringing home the OFSAA banner for the most points by a novice boys’ team.