Jones tops field at erg championships
Malarie Jones was up to the task Saturday afternoon at the Ontario Ergometer Championships at Ridley College.
The 16-year-old Wainfleet resident put the pedal to the metal and won the senior high school women’s event by an impressive seven seconds.
When she last competed at the Ontario ergometer championships in 2020, she placed third.
“It was a compete surprise,” said the Grade 11 student at E.L. Crossley, who was rowing under the Notre Dame Rowing Club banner. “My goal was to go sub-7:20 on the erg and I just did that now.”
Her 7:15.3 time on Saturday broke her previous personal best by 11 seconds and it shouldn’t really be surprising considering the amount of work she and her Crossley teammates put in on a weekly basis.
The squad trains five days a week at the school and then one day on the weekend on the ergometers at the Notre Dame Rowing Club boathouse. The sport is a passion for Jones.
“I love the sport and I have since I started,” she said. “It feels good when you know you have been training and working so hard and you see the results.”
Jones started rowing at the South Niagara Rowing Club before arriving at Crossley and joining the school’s rowing
The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out pretty much all of her high school rowing career to date.
She was able to experience the ergometer season in the spring of 2020 and last fall was able to participate in the Head of the Welland and the Head of the Trent. She was in quad that won in Welland and was in an eight that crossed the line first at Trent.
Like every athlete in every sport, it has been difficult dealing with the stops and starts to her training because of lockdowns associated with the pandemic.
“It was really tough,” she said. “We had been doing things at home and that was so difficult compared to being with everybody.”
Luckily, she was able to find ways to deal with mental stresses of the pandemic and remain focused.
“I knew it was going to get better and I knew once it did open up that I needed to continue my training,” she said. “If we stopped, we would have to restart when things opened up catch up with people who would be coming in in better condition.”
Jones celebrated her victory Saturday night with a team dinner at M.T. Bellies in Welland.