Northern reaches new heights at OFSAA

Max Davies, Phoebe Skipp tally gold, silver and bronze for Red Knights track and field team

NORTHERN STRONG: Phoebe Skipp, left, shows off her pole-vaulting silver, and Max Davies his gold in the 3000-metre and bronze in the 1500-metre, outside of Northern. The duo were MVPs and top performers at OFSAA.

Northern’s track and field future is looking bright and shiny with the team’s results at OFSAA in early June.

Grade 9s Max Davies and Phoebe Skipp both brought home metal from the meet at York University, and coach Michael Chapman couldn’t be more pleased.

“It draws interest in the sport,” he said, in a mid-June phone conversation. “The Grade 9 success draws more attention to the sport. Grade 10s will say, maybe I’ll do that next year. It’s a beacon to the incoming Grade 9s that, ‘Hey, I could do that too.’”

During the spring, students in the land of Red, Yellow, and Blue, have their choice from soccer, rugby, and ultimate frisbee. Often times, they’ll cross over and compete with the track team as well.

“There’s a lot of sharing of space on the field for practice times,” Chapman said. “There’s a lot of cross-training and playing.”

Still, Davies’ bronze in the midget boys 1500-metre and gold in the midget boys 3000-metre, as well as Skipp’s silver in the midget girls’ pole vault have boosted their confidence as well.

“It feels amazing. I wasn’t really expecting that much. It’s one of the best things that has happened,” Davies said, excitement evident in his voice on the phone. He finished the 3000-metre with a time of 8:57.74 and the 1500-metre with a time of 4:09.95.

He’s been training for four years out of the University of Toronto’s Track Club and has aspired to win an OFSAA medal since he was in Grade 8. He set a South Region best this season. Though he’s a middle-distance runner, thus the bronze in the 1500, he had a plan on how to win gold from fellow UTS athletics teammate, Roman Mironov.

“I knew what to expect from the other racers,” he said. “The person who finished second has been my biggest competition. My plan was to stick with him and save enough to kick it in at the end.”

As for Skipp, who is also a member at U of T’s Track Club, she made the jump from gymnastics into pole vault. Her best result was 2.9 metres. She finished second to another Torontonian, Isabelle Hill of Humberside Collegiate.

“It was my first year doing, it so it was a big accomplishment,” Skipp said. “I was a competitive gymnast for eight years.”

For her, Canadian Olympian, Alysha Newman is a role model.

“[Pole vaulting] is something new. There’s a challenge every practice. We have something new to work towards,” Skipp said.

The duo will be back next season looking to improve on their 2018 results.

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