NEW GLASGOW — Cara MacDonald has provided some Panther Pride at New Glasgow Academy.
MacDonald eclipsed a 17-year record in the junior girls’ 400-metre distance when she won the gold medal on Friday during the two-day Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation provincial track and field championships in Sydney.
Her time of 60.06 seconds broke the previous record set in 2001 by former Bridgetown High School student Jenna Martin.
“It was awesome,” she said. “I didn’t know as soon as I finished and found out later.”
Trevor Boudreau, who teaches at NGA and is a track and field official, said he thought Cara had a good shot at the record, given her running pace and the vantage point he had on the final turn.
“I didn’t have a good vantage point of the finish line, but I knew when she passed me she was going to win,” he said. “I joked with her at the regional championship that she only had to run three seconds faster to set the record and that’s what she did, which is not an easy thing. It would have been super to break a minute, but she has next year.”
MacDonald also won a gold medal in her 800-metre race and was eighth in her hurdles race.
Now 13 and in Grade 7, MacDonald began running at regular meets when she was 10. She said she enjoys the sport for several reasons. “I like meeting new people and I like to challenge myself,” she said. “Track and field is a great way for me to do that.”
Boudreau said MacDonald had a shot at the 800-metre record, had it been run on a sunny and calm Friday instead of the cold, wet and windy conditions on Saturday.
“Conditions on Saturday were terrible,” he said. “It was cold and sometimes it rained really hard.”
Meanwhile, Keighan DeCoff also won two provincial gold medals in field events. The North Nova athlete was first in intermediate girls’ discus and shot put.
Several other Pictou County athletes won more than one medal.
Parker Swain of Northumberland Regional High School won the intermediate boys shot put event, was second in discus and third in javelin.
Ethan MacDonald of North Nova Education Centre was first in the intermediate boys’ 3,000-metre race and third at 1,500 metres.
Heath Miller of North Nova was first in senior girls’ javelin, while Jenna Reid of Pictou Academy was third in both discus and javelin.
Eric Hughes of Northumberland was in the senior boys’ 100-metre final and second at 200 metres.
Jordyn Ferguson of Dr. W.A. MacLeod Consolidated was first in junior girls’ discus and third in javelin.
Matt MacLeod of Thorburn Consolidated won a gold medal in junior boys’ javelin.
Raymond Simpson of North Nova was third in the senior boys’ 800-metre race.
Emily Horton of West Pictou Consolidated was first in Para girls’ 200-metre and 800-metre races and shot put.
From left: track official Trevor Boudreau and Cara MacDonald stand under the Panther Pride sign in the lobby at New Glasgow Academy. MacDonald set a provincial record while winning her 400-metre race at the NSSAF provincial track and field championships in Sydney. (Goodwin photo)