The Leaside High School Track Team was named the Overall Girls and Overall Combined Champions at the TDSSAA City Track and Field Championships held at Birchmount Stadium on May 30 and 31, after winning a total of 13 individual and event medals.
It’s easy to understand why Coach Helen Panayiotou is so proud of her exceptional team and their accomplishments. Grade 9 student Isabella Goudros won four gold medals in the Novice Girls 100m, 200m, sprint hurdles and in the 4 x 100m Senior Girls relay along with twins Weajue and Weadee Mombo and Lorryn Felix where they set a modern record. Also in Grade 9, Sophie Coutts won gold in 800m and 1500m and her twin, Chloe, gold in 3000m and bronze in 1500m, and Jeffrey Chen, silver in the sprint hurdles.
Liam Rivard was the champion in Senior Boys 400m and 800m, Weadee Mombo won silver in Senior Girls 100m hurdles while Weajue won bronze in Senior Girls triple jump. Finally, the Senior Girls 4 x 400m relay team of Sophie Coutts, Remy Cattell, Kate Denomme and Julia Elliott won the bronze medal, and Lorryn Felix finished fourth in the Junior Girls 100m.
Weadee Mombo spoke for the whole team when she said that their success at Metros felt “very natural and comfortable, and everything just clicked.”
Janine Davies, the TDSB’s co-curricular lead teacher for secondary health and physical education/athletics, noted that the girls’ scores were “incredibly impressive…as was winning the overall title without a boys’ team in the top 7.”
Ms. Panayiotou credits the students’ natural talent, discipline and attitude for their outstanding achievements. In addition, the other teacher coaches, Lisa Bourgard, Nicole Rampersad, Dan Way, and community coach Bob Thacker, the parents and various club coaches have played an important part in the athletes’ success.
All of this hard work and dedication resulted in several athletes advancing to the Ontario high school championships, OFSAA, held at the Pan-Am Stadium in Toronto on June 7, 8 and 9. Despite the gruelling schedule of qualifying heats and finals, the team won five medals and had six other top 10 finishes. The Midget Girls once again claimed the team title with Isabella Goudros winning gold in 200m and 80m hurdles and silver in 100m, and Sophie Coutts winning silver in 800m and 1500m.
Ms. Panayiotou describes this as “an exciting time for track and field at Leaside” and enjoys working with this dedicated and supportive group. “The athletes’ hard work and grit paid off and their coaches couldn’t be prouder. Despite their amazing accomplishments, they each want to improve for next year.”
Watch for more medals and team banners in the future.