Bajan fastest woman in Canada
A FORMER?St Lucy Secondary and Foundation schoolgirl has come out of nowhere to become the fastest woman in Canada.
Crystal Emmanuel became the first woman since 2003 to sweep both the 100m and 200m finals at the Canadian track and field championships that wrapped up in Calgary last weekend.
In the 100m final, her time of 11.45 seconds was good enough to dislodge the four-time defending Canadian champion Toyin Olupona who settled for silver in a time of 11.49 seconds.
Emmanuel won the 200m race in 22.99 seconds, ahead of Kimberly Hyacinthe at 23.36 seconds. Adding to the dramatics, Emmanuel hurt her foot near the end of the race, but still managed to cross the line where she promptly collapsed in pain and had to be helped off the track.
Consider that last year Emmanuel was still racing in high school – albeit racing well. As a sprinter for York’s Vaughan Road Academy she won the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) gold in the 200m (24.08s) and was third in the 100m (12.38 seconds).
That wasn’t the only success she enjoyed in her final year of junior eligibility.
At Canada’s world junior trials in Moncton, New Brunswick, she was the second fastest junior girl in the 200m (24.16s) and third fastest in the 100m (12.17 seconds).
That earned her a berth in the subsequent world junior championships where her best result was a third place finish in her 200m semi-final heat in a personal best time of 23.96 seconds.
She also gained valuable experience at senior nationals over the past two years. In 2010 she finished sixth in the 200m (24.39) and in 2009 she finished 21st over 100m.
She wasn’t the only Toronto resident, one year removed from high school, to medal in the 100m event.
Aaron Brown, a Beach resident who graduated from Scarborough’s Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute last year and now attends the University of Southern California, earned a bronze in the men’s 100m event.
Last year, Brown won the 100m provincial boys high school championship, not to mention finishing fifth at the junior world’s in the 100m and third in the 200m. In 2009, he earned silver in the 100m at the world age group championships (for 16 and 17 year olds).
Another Birchmount Park sprinting star Justyn Warner, who actually had the top time in qualifying, had a disappointing disqualification for a false start in the 100m final. (www.insidetoronto.com.)