Sault Stryders
Running Club

Steady Eddy on the mend
Reported May 24, 2011 by Michael Purvis for The Sault Star
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Superior Heights track star Rachel Eddy (second from left) races to the finish line at the city meet.
Eddy is hoping her injured hamstring allows her to run faster when the NOSSA meet kicks off May 25 in Sudbury.

If Rachel Eddy's strained hamstring keeps healing, Northern Ontario had better look out.

The 17-year-old managed firsts in the 100-, 200-, and 400-metre races at last week's city track and field meet, also taking home a gold medal as a member of her school's 4x400 relay team, and placing second in the 4x200 relay.

That was after an injury at practice that forced the Grade 12 Superior Heights student to trade her last few days of preparation for rest and therapy.

As of Sunday, Eddy's leg still wasn't completely healed, but if it keeps healing at the rate it has been, she said she hopes to be capable of some significantly faster times at Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (NOSSA) championships.

"I definitely feel like I could improve my times from cities, because they were not very good," said Eddy.

The NOSSA track and field championships begin today in Sudbury and Eddy said she is eager to get back on the track.

Eddy said she was surprised to have finished so well at the city meet. Her hamstring injury wasn't serious, but she said she was lucky not to have come up against anyone faster.

Her sore leg had her posting times much slower than her personal bests. For instance, on her best day, she's capable of finishing the 200-metre race in 26.9 seconds. On Friday, she won, despite being nearly two seconds slower.

"I was very lucky," said Eddy.

Lorri Purnis, one of the track coaches at Superior Heights, isn't making any predictions, but she said Eddy's competitive nature means a minor injury isn't likely to keep her from performing.

"No matter what, she's going to race tough and be right in there," said Purnis. "Her hamstring would have to explode before she would do anything other than that."

The 200-metre has long been Eddy's favourite. She can't put her finger on exactly why it suits her, she just knows it does, the same way Goldilocks knew which porridge to eat.

"I find the 100 is too short for me and the 400 is alright, but it's tougher and probably almost too long," said Eddy. "The 200 is just perfect."

Eddy said her love of track first blossomed in Grade 7 and has grown ever since. She has placed twice at NOSSA in her high school career - last year, she placed third in both the 100 and 200, and in Grade 10 she came second in the 200 - but has never managed first spot.

She said she hopes this is her year.

"I've been hoping to win for a while, but it just has never happened. I've never been fast enough," said Eddy. "It's my last chance this year, so I'm hoping to do better than I have."

Eddy said she had been considering not competing in the 100-metre, but may decide to run all of the events she's qualified for, meaning she'll have a busy NOSSA. With a heat and a final in each of her three solo races, and two relay events, she could be hitting the track a full eight times.

"It will be tough," she said.

The 400-metre race is scheduled to take place Wednesday night, with the rest of the races happening Thursday.