Rookies seize OFSAA

DOWN THE STRETCH: Triple jumper Luciana Terebiznik, left, and track mate Nikelle Marier travelled to Sudbury to compete in the 2011 OFSAA Track and Field meet. The midget-aged athletes are flashes of athletic brilliance for Earl Haig.

Earl Haig’s grade 9 duo rejuvenates depleted track and field corps

There’s a youth movement seizing the moment at Earl Haig.

Two grade 9s, Nikelle Marier and Luciana Terebiznik, packed their track shoes and headed to Sudbury to represent their school at OFSAA on June 2-4 in the 200-metre dash and triple jump respectively.

It’s a moment that’s caught both their coach Shawnett Hanson and head of phys ed Dan McFadden pleasantly by surprise.

Hanson said there was concern heading into the 2011 track and field campaign with no senior athletes. Previous OFSAA contender Si-Tan Zhang graduated.

But the girls have proven otherwise.

Marier placed fourth in the 200-metre at the Metros in Etobicoke May 18-19. Her standout time was 27.59 seconds.

Getting to OFSAA in her freshman year has been a happy moment, and a day before her departure Marier admitted she was looking forward to a jaunt to nickel country.

“Going to Sudbury, that should be very interesting because I’ve never been there,” she said.

As a student at Lester B. Pearson Public School, Marier took up track in grade 4 and hasn’t stopped running since. She’s a member of Cougars Track and Field at York University.

Marier’s teammate Terebiznik represents the Blue and White in the triple jump. She snared silver with a 9.71 metre hop-bound-jump at the Metros thus booking her ticket to provincials.

“I liked getting to OFSAA,” she said, adding her grade 7 season was also memorable because of her results at the Metros.

Though Terebiznik doesn’t compete in the long or triple jumps outside of school she’s seen action at the Metro level for the past six years.

Why she does it is simple.

“When you jump, it feels like you are flying and it’s very satisfying to exercise,” she said. “Then you accomplish something afterwards.”

Marier is all heart with her drive.

“I know a lot of people do track because they want to get scholarships or because their parents want them to do it, but I do it because I truly enjoy it deep down,” she said.

Their coach Hanson admires their attitudes, recalling their reactions when failing to qualify in their other events.

“They said, ‘We’ll get it the next year,’” Hanson said, adding their maturity has her beaming for 2012.

The only thing Hanson was disappointed with was she couldn’t head up to Sudbury to be with her charges. Plenty of luck was wished though as she was grateful for a wonderful season.

“We are proud of them,” Hanson said.

Though Marier and Terebiznik’s OFSAA results were not posted before press time, leave it to the triple jumper to find humour in the geographical locale she was visiting.

“I’m going to bring back a nickel,” she said with a laugh.

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