3, 2, 1… Go! Track and Field Provincial Recap

Foggy, cold and windy were the always-correct weather descriptors for this past weekend at the School Sport Nova Scotia (SSNS) Track and Field Provincial Championships on the campus of Cape Breton University. No matter how often our eight-inch staked tent did cartwheels into the field, the only tougher piece of equipment at the track was the minds of our Highlanders as they kept their focus to ward off hypothermia and do their best in their events in which they have trained so well. More than 1000 athletes from 171 schools were represented. It is the biggest event in SSNS each year. With nearly every school in Nova Scotia participating at the district and region level it is an accomplishment just to make it to provincials. To make it even more competitive, there are no divisions in SSNS track and field: all schools compete against each other without regard to size.

Finishing just off the triple jump podium in 4th place was our highest finisher of the meet, Lena Falkenberger ‘24. Completely new to track and field, rookie Lena followed that up with another top 10 finish, ninth, in her long jump. Kristy Michaud ‘24 earned her best time in the 400m dash, running fifth, the UNB Reds track commit also earned a fifth in her 100m dash. One of the brightest Highlander stars this weekend was our sole junior girl competitor. Chelsea James ‘29 earns this distinction for not only her gutsy performance in gusty conditions in her 1500m run, finishing 13th, but for her unshakeable enthusiasm for racing in the senior girls 4x400m relay. Without her effort, Ava Shearer ‘24, Chloe Moxam ‘25 and Lena Falkenberger ‘24 (legs weary by so many jumps, but still charged through 400 metres) would not have had the required four person team. Shearer and Moxam waited two full days in the blizzard-like conditions (perhaps hyperbole) for their one shot to run one lap as fast as they could. They ran their best and did KES proud by their attitude and effort. Moxam vowed to come back next year and run even faster.

As he has so many times this season, Josiah Dosunmu ‘24 proved that he can do his best no matter the conditions. Removing hundredths of a second is an accomplishment in a 100m dash under the best of conditions. However, with a positive and confident attitude Josiah lowered his personal best by a full third of a second, finishing fifth. It is worth noting that his time would have won gold last year, and a medal in as many years as I could find results. It just so happens to be a very fast year for senior boys sprinting. SMU track team-bound Josiah also competed in his 200m dash finishing 11th and 13th in his high jump. Harvey Hadley ‘27 finished with a personal best time and 14th in his 100m intermediate boys hurdles and 14th in his 800m run. Jeremy Aigbe ‘25 was competing in his first provincial championships and his third long jump competition ever, finishing a very respectable eighth place. Jeremy was also a member of our senior boys 4x100 relay along with Josiah Dosunmu '24, Alex Graham '25 and David Akinboro '24. They ran their very best and did our school proud with a sixth place finish at provincials. I don't know the breakdown of junior/intermediate and senior schools, but of 171 schools in attendance, sixth is great anyway you look at it.

We often speak of the importance of sport in concern to character building. As a coach you are sometimes left wondering if anything you have said is getting through to them. As part of the IB Diploma program, students reflect on their sporting experiences. When I read these words from Jeremy Aigbe ‘25, I knew he was getting the long-term experience that we want all our student-athletes to have:

Participating in track has put in me a strong sense of resilience. The sport is filled with lots and lots of highs and lows, from the happiness of winning a race or getting a personal best to the frustration of a poor performance or an injury. These experiences have taught me how to handle setbacks and failures and come back stronger. I have most certainly learned that failure is not the end of things but more of a stepping stone to improvement. 

Track and field has taught me the importance of discipline and goal setting. Training for events requires a strict plan and commitment. This includes consistent practices, eating healthy, and enough rest. This discipline has helped me with other areas of my life, specifically helping me to prioritize my time well and maintain a good focus on my goals. 

Track has also taught me the importance of friendship. When running it can be very lonely, but the sound of your friends cheering you on brings you to life. The coaches, teachers and friends are all a vital part of your success during the race.

That success that Jeremy speaks of comes from dozens of supportive people, and I apologize for any that I have inadvertently left out, but I trust that I have thanked you personally, and hopefully many times. Thank you Mrs. Tanna (Goldberg) Schulich ‘60, and her husband, Mr. Seymour Schulich for giving us the opportunity to run, jump and throw on the Tanna Track. Mrs. Sue Bouwman precedes my decade here and is as much a part of the foundation of this program as anyone that came before her. Mrs. Judy DesRoches and Mr. Mark Walker were on the track for every junior practice, and along with Mr. Brodi Robinson, didn’t leave until the seniors left. Mr. Derek Bouwman doesn’t like to stray from the hoops and you could find him in the gym helping to raise the bar for students over the high jump mat each week. We hosted five track and field meets this year, which is definitely more than any school in Nova Scotia ever (most likely). That could not have been done without the incredible parent support of Mrs. Paula James, Mr. Edward James, Mr. Ian Shaw, Mr. Greg Wile, and Mr. Donnie Armstrong. Though not KES alum or parents, our track meets would not have run nearly so smoothly without Mr. Andre Benoit and Mr. Alex Labrecque. In the weeks leading up to our competitions I pester Mr. Brandon Jodrey and his maintenance staff, but especially Mr. John MacKay. In the hours and minutes before the first gun starts the first runners, I am probably seeking any or all of these men to save the day: Mr. Derek Parker, Mr. Mike Gates, and Mr. Brian Matheson. We couldn’t travel without vans, buses and hotels and for that a big thank you to Ms. Kim Shanks and Mr. Wade Trider. Always supportive and encouraging are Mrs. Taya Shields and Mr. Joseph Seagram. For someone that has always made the time for our program and endeavoured to support it in every possible way and will be most missed upon his retirement (maybe even before then), thank you to Mr. Kim Walsh. Finally and always, thank you, Guy Payne.

Phillip Hadley
Senior School Faculty 

Athletics CTA
King’s-Edgehill School is located in Mi'kma'ki, the unceded ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq People.