SJD's Nisbett is after a new NOSSA standard as well as long-jump glory
By PETER RUICCI, The Sault Star, May 24, 2001

While she would love to earn a fourth consecutive trip to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championships, Sault Ste. Marie's Erin Nisbett left for Sudbury today with a more pressing goal in mind. The 18-year-old Sir James Dunn Collegiate track and field star is focused on setting a new Senior Division long jump record at the two-day Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association championships, which begin today.

Ironically, the old mark of 5.28 metres was set in 1965 by Eagles' head coach Linda Vetrie, then an SJD student.

``I think because I respect Miss V so much, to even come close to her record would be an accomplishment,'' said Nisbett, an OAC student whose personal best is a jump of 5.08 metres recorded at the all-Ontarios two years ago. ``She was such a great athlete. I said to her `Miss V, I want to break your record.' On a good day, I think I could do it. It's in me, it's just everything has to click.''

Nisbett, a talented, all-round athlete, has won three straight NOSSA gold medals in long jump. Last year, she was the Senior champion, the previous two years, Nisbett prevailed in the Junior Division.

``Records are meant to be broken,'' said Vetrie. ``Nothing would give me greater satisfaction than to be there and see a Dunn athlete do it.''

Vetrie, a longtime track coach at SJD, plans to retire from teaching in January 2003.

``So they've only got this year and next year to do it with me there,'' she chuckled. ``It wouldn't be difficult for me at all to see the record broken. It shouldn't have lasted this long. I coached Randa (Coulter) jumping when she was in high school and Randa coaches Erin now, so seeing Erin break it would be a natural progression.''

Though long jump is her best event, Nisbett will also run the 100-metre and 200m events in Sudbury. At last week's city meet, she won both the long jump (5.01 metres) and 200m race while finishing second in the 100m. In the previous three city meets, Nisbett has secured gold medals in all three events.

Besides setting a new long jump record, Nisbett's NOSSA goals today and Friday are to finish in the top three in her other two events.

When it comes to achieving a new record at the Laurentian University Track, Nisbett will have the advantage of competing at her favorite venue.

``It's so much better than here (Jo Forman Track) for jumping,'' she said. ``The board there gives you this pop, and you get so much extra height from it. And at a better facility, you get that extra mental edge you need. That helps you a lot.''

``She (Nisbett) is very focused, she has good technique and she gives 110 per cent no matter what the sport,'' said Vetrie.

``I've had great coaches in Mrs. Coulter and Miss Vetrie,'' added Nisbett. ``Their dedication is why I've gone to OFSAA three years in a row.''