Track success all in the family

ROB BRODIE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

Dylan Barnabe pondered the moment the silver medal was draped around her neck, and it was everything she could have ever imagined.

"It feels awesome," she said yesterday after a photo finish in the junior girls' 80-metre hurdles on Day 2 of the OFSAA track and field championships at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility. "It feels right."

Familiar, too.

Barnabe, a Grade 10 student at Earl of March, received the medal from her grandfather, Peter, her coach and a former hurdler himself. Also sharing the moment: Dylan's mother, Valerie, who mentors her daughter's track aspirations, too.

Hurdling, you see, runs in the Barnabe family. With the medal yesterday, Dylan matched the feat of her uncle Joe, who also claimed OFSAA silver for the Earl back in the 1980s.

HURDLING GENES

No need to ask where Dylan gets her hurdling genes from.

"They influence me a lot," she said of this family affair.

Adds Peter Barnabe: "She's a natural at it. Her technique is very good."

While Valerie Barnabe made her share of OFSAAs back in the 1970s, she was never a podium finisher.

"It was nothing like this," she said with a look of pride toward Dylan. "This is fantastic. She's very deserving of it."

Peter Barnabe admits his granddaughter might well have the talent to be the family champ. And that's saying a lot, given Joe Barnabe's feats.

"If she sticks with it, she could be the best of them," he said. "It was tough competition (yesterday), but clearly she met the challenge.

"It was wonderful to present the medal to her."

Dylan surely appears to have the necessary competitive instinct. She turned in a massive personal best time, and was narrowly edged -- by .001 seconds -- for the gold. Pickering's Marissa Smith was clocked in 12.051, Barnabe 12.052.

Shona Dunkley of Pickering Pine Ridge and Julia Hyman of London Saunders were another .02 behind.

"When I race, I'm not aware of my time," said Dylan, 15, whose sister Maris also runs track. "I thought I was in the top four. I had a sense about that."

Peter Barnabe liked the way she fought for the gold.

'LIKES TO WIN'

"She likes to win. You need that," he said. "She gets nervous, but she's used to being competitive at singing and as a soccer player (with the Kanata Lightning) ... she manages it all very well."

The best might be yet to come: Dylan is the second seed for today's junior girls' 300-metre hurdles.

It was also quite the day for Karelle Edwards of De La Salle, who leaped 5.67 metres to win the senior girls' long jump by two centimetres over Courtney Clarke of Toronto Francis Liberman, then later took the silver in the 100-metre hurdles.

Renfrew's Caitlin Vandodewaard claimed her second gold medal of the meet, taking the senior girls' shot put with a best toss of 12.29 metres.

Brockville Thousand Islands had a trio of medal winners: Dustin Herder, gold, junior boys' pole vault; Matt Deeks, bronze, senior boys' 400, and the midget boys' 4x100-metre relay team, bronze.


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