This weekend, Belleville is hosting the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations track and field championships, a three-day event featuring talented high school athletes from across the province.
Runners, jumpers, throwers and pole vaulters competed to improve their personal best times and make long-lasting memories.
Gustav Finley, a 17-year-old distance runner from St. Peter Catholic Secondary School in Peterborough, placed seventh in the open boys’ 2,000 metre steeplechase on Friday with a time of 6:13.44 minutes, despite facing many obstacles this season.
Finley trains six days a week both at school and with the Peterborough Legion Track and Field Club, who meet at the track at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School. He does cross-country running in the fall, and placed 19 out of 211 runners in the six kilometre Canadian cross-country championships last November.
When asked what his goals are for next season, he said he hopes to avoid injury by training smarter.
Nick Beamish, a 31-year-old special education teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas, is one of the coaches at the Peterborough Legion Club. He said he is proud of his students’ achievements over the year and the experiences they have gained from competing at such a high-level meet.
Beamish said that OFSAA has “a lot of bells and whistles” surrounding it, but the real highlight is seeing students have fun and realize their full potential.