Kyra Constantine admits she was surprised by her performance at the recent Ontario Federation of Schools Athletic Association (OFSAA) track and field championship.
The Grade 9 student at St. Roch Secondary School won all three of her events at the provincial championships in Oshawa taking the midget women’s 100 metres, 200m and 400m. That was impressive enough but what makes the accomplishment even more remarkable is that less than a year ago she was an 800m runner.
“I was surprised because I’m not a 100 and 200 runner,” she said of her OFSAA performance. Last year she earned a trip to the Hershey Track and Field North America Games in Hershey PA., by posting the fastest time in the 800m for her age group and was undefeated at that distance, capping her season with the Hershey championship. In the fall she won the Region of Peel Secondary School Athletic Association (ROPSSAA) cross country crown, running a distance of three kilometres.
But this spring the 14-year-old decided to take up sprinting.
“I didn’t want to run the 800 any more. It was just too long,” she said.
The transition appears to have gone off without a hitch. At the shorter distances she has also gone undefeated this year.
In the 400m she set an OFSAA record of 54.63 seconds, beating the previous mark of 55.95. Constantine’s time would have won both the senior and junior 400m.
Among those who were impressed by her run was Christian Brennan, from Hamilton St. Marys who held the old OFSAA record. When Brennan was in Grade 9 in 2010 she also won the same three events with the 400m OFSAA record included and has won an OFSAA 400m race each of her four years in high school.
She made it a point to seek out Constantine after she had broken her record and photos were taken of the two.
“She congratulated me and told me I’m going to get faster, to keep doing what I’m doing and we’ll have an awesome relay team in 2016,” said Constantine.
Brennan was referring to Canada at the 2016 Olympics. Constantine said the Olympics is her dream.
Besides running for the school Constantine trains three days a week with Project Athletics under coach Wellesley Johnson at York University.
What makes her performance even more special for Constantine is that she is the first athlete from St. Roch, to win gold in OFSAA track and field. At the recent athletic awards banquet for the four-year old school Constantine shared the junior athlete of the year as well as junior MVP for both the cross country and track teams.