Clementine freshman’s OFSAA dream burned by shin splints

GRACE UNDER FIRE: Hoping to qualify for OFSAA at the Metro track meet May 18-19, Grace Wickens had to contend with shin splints, resulting in a fifth place finish in the 200-metre dash.

Grace Wickens is much like her namesake.

Hoping to qualify for OFSAA in at least one of her many track sports at the Metros May 18­–19, the St. Clement’s student was gracious in her unfortunate fifth place finish in the 200-metre dash.

Her affable but shy personality is something that her teachers and teammates have come to appreciate, says coach Hilary Adamson.

“She’ll try anything,” Adamson said. “She never complains even with me pushing her to do (300-metre) hurdles.”

With OFSAA just in reach, it was the pain of shin splints that kept the grade 9 student from advancing in the 200 and 400 metre dashes, the 4 x 100 metre and 4 x 400 metre relays. Wickens’ tibial stress also kept her from competing in the 300-metre hurdles.

A few days before her races though, Wickens was all optimism with a hint of modesty in her voice.

“I just try not to focus on it as much and think of it as a regular meet,” she said. “I want to get into OFSAA for at least one event, so to come top four.”

At the time she hinted there were some concerns about her health.

“I’ve just been training a lot, getting rest and trying to deal with any injuries,” she said.

Admittedly nervous about the Metro championship, Wickens was still energized from excellent results from the CISAA championships May 12–13.

She scored five silver medals — three on her own and two as a member of the relay teams.

In the girls midget 200-metre she came in with a final time of 28.96. For the 400 she crossed the finish line a 1:04.18. The 300-metre low hurdles saw her net 51.67.

Along with her midget teammates Jenna Child, Jennifer Hanuschak and Stephanie Colbourne, the quartet placed second with a 56.09 time in the 4 x 100 metre relay. She teamed up with Georgina Glebe, Emma Halupka and Natalie Doyle for the open 4 x 400 metre relay to net her final silver with a final time of 4:35.05.

When Wickens is not on the track, she’s also preparing for hockey. Adamson joked her track star’s father is all about the 400-metre as it helps with Wickens’ on-ice training.

“I’m looking forward to her training more next season,” Adamson said, adding Wickens is already planning on starting earlier for next year’s CISAA and Metro championships.

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