Ontario ergometer championships top five: Whittard wins again
Cait Whittard capped an excellent indoor season by winning her division this past Saturday at the Ontario Ergometer Championships at Ridley College.
Earlier this year, the 15-year-old St. Catharines resident won the Rudernkrieg Indoor Rowing Regatta in Grimsby and the Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships in Mississauga.
Her victory at the Canadians came in her first-ever appearance at the national championships.
“I wasn’t sure what the competition would be like but I did surprise myself,” said the Grade 10 student at Denis Morris. “I was pretty happy with how I placed.”
Last year, she placed fifth in her division at the Ontario championships.
Whittard is a big fan of ergs.
“I really like it because I can work on my form and it helps me concentrate on where I need to be because I can see what my splits are and what I need to do to beat them,” the 5-foot-11 rower said. “It also gets you ready for water season and I find this is the hardest season. The training is hard — not like it is in water — but it is different kind of training.
“I feel if you can get through this, water is a lot more fun.”
Indoor and outdoor rowing training is a labour of love for the St. Catharines Rowing Club member.
“I love to work out, I love to stay fit, I love to play sports and I just love rowing,” she said. “It had made me really happy over the past year.”
She craves pushing herself to the limit.
“I have seen what my max is and I pass that max every time I train,” she saod. “I have to keep pushing and beat myself every time I pull. One day I will get where I want to be.”
She has set lofty targets for her rowing career.
“My goal is to hopefully get a scholarship to the States and try and row for Team Canada one day in the distant future.”
Whittard played soccer, basketball and volleyball last year with Denis Morris, and travel basketball with the St. Catharines Rebels, but is now solely focused on rowing.
“I really love basketball and I played it since I was in Grade 3 so that made it a tough decision,” she said. “But I need to stay healthy.”
She is gunning for another successful season on the water.
In 2019, her high school rowing resume included: gold in the junior coxed four and bronze in the senior coxed four competing for Denis Morris at the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association championship plus a silver medal in the junior coxed four at the Stotesbury Cup.
At the club level, she was nominated for the St. Catharines Rowing Club’s under-17 oarswoman of the year after earning a silver in the youth coxed four at the Head of the Charles Regatta, placing fourth at Canadian Henley in the under-17 coxed four and earning gold in the under-17 eight at the RowOntario championships.
Following are the winners and top five locals from the Ontario ergometer championships:
Junior high school men: 1. Shane Keagan, Ridley College (6:39.3); 4. Aidan Smouter, Crossley; 5. Matthew Johnston, Crossley.
Junior high school women: 1. Alivia Thornton, Lakeshore (7:25.6); 2. Mya Denham, GFESS; 3, Malarie Jones, Crossley; 4. Megan Jackson, St. Francis; 5. Sophia McQueen, Notre Dame.
Junior high school 150-pound men: 1. Marcus Celia, Blessed Trinity (7;09.2); 2. Calum Murphy, Ridley; 3. Ethan Mason, St. Francis; 4. Nico D’Amelio, Centennial.
Junior high school 165-pound men: 1. Owen Bartel, Eden (6:38); 3. Preston Darling, Crossley.
Junior high school 135-pound women: 1. Payton Tonnos, Eden (7:59.9); 3. Autumn Crowe, Ridley; 5. Madeson Scott, Notre Dame.
Junior high school 145-pound women: 1. Cait Whittard, Denis Morris (7:50.4); 2. Trinity Young, Crossley; 3. Claire Leavens. Crossley; 4. Simmone McVanel, Churchill.
Senior high school 150-pound men: 1. Owen Kudreikis, Eden (6:34.9); 2. Joseph Coughler, Crossley; 4. Daniel Reid-Tavano, Niagara Falls.
Senior high school 165-pound men: 1. Giancarlo DiPompeo, Denis Morris (6:37); 2. David Picard, St. Francis; 3. Keithan Woodhouse, Crossley; 4. Owen Darling, Crossley; 5. Nicholas Schramm, Ridley.
Senior high school 135-pound women: 1. Grace Weaver, Grimsby (7:38); 4. Charlotte Drennan, Ridley; 5. Gillian Jansen, Notre Dame.
Senior high school 145-pound women: 1. Kristina Harris. John F. Ross (7:46.7); 2. Caroline Candoloro, Niagara Falls; 3. Gabrielle Cook, Ridley; 4. Jillian VanDyk, Notre Dame.
Senior high school women: 1. Seyene Oord, Crossley (7:21.9); 2. Teagan Orth, St. Francis; 4, Rylie Wake, Rdley;
Senior high school men: 1. Garrett Bowley, Ridley (6:22); 3. Liam Benner, Grimsby; 4. George Martinson, Crossley.
Open lightweight women: 1. Olivia Jose, Brock (7:49.5); 2. Rowan O’Neill, Brock; 3. Alicia Piazza, Brock.
Open women: 1. Lisa Bos, St. Catharines (7:17.6); 3. Erin Broski. Brock; 4. Caitlin Pauls, Ridley Grad.
Open lightweight men: 1. Jonathan Hickman, Brock (6:44); 2. Tony DiDomenico, Brock; 3. Kevin Keith, Brock; 4. Ashraf Salih, Brock.
Open men: 1. Erik Hohnstein, Brock (5:58.5); 4. Noah Van Helvert, Brock.
Masters women: 1. Rae Ceccato, St. Catharines (7:31.1); 3. Tanya Rodger, St. Catharines.
Masters men: 1. William Greene, Chinook Performance (6:36.9); 4. Brian Van Helvert, St. Catharines.
Junior high school relay: 1. Sir Winston Churchill (6:59.5); 2. Ridley.
Senior high school relay: 1. St. Mary’s (6:33.1); 2 Ridley; 3. Ridley; 4. Churchill.