OFSAA silver medalist
Nakita Steele of l’École secondaire catholique Embrun and a Winchester native won a silver medal in the backstroke at the OFSAA Swimming Championships in Windsor on Feb. 27-28.   Courtesy photo

WINDSOR—The 2018 OFSAA Swimming Championships were hosted in Windsor at the International Aquatic Training Complex on Feb. 27-28. The event welcomed over 2,600 student athletes from 359 schools. Nakita Steele, a Winchester native, was the sole qualifier on her high school swim team at l’École secondaire catholique Embrun.

Although this was Steele’s second time qualifying for OFSAA Swimming, it is her first time medalling. Throughout the preliminary swims and final swims, she continued to swim impressive personal best times. Steele placed second in the 50m Butterfly event with a time of 32.10 seconds. She also competed in the 50m Freestyle event. This event’s first-place finisher broke the OFSAA record; this competitive time left a difference of .78 seconds between the first-place swimmer and Steele’s fourth-place finish of 28.98 seconds. Qualifying OFSAA swimmers are permitted to compete in a maximum of two individual swimming events. Coincidentally, her brother Cordell also won an OFSAA Silver medal in the 50m Butterfly at last year’s event.

EOSSAA – Earlier in the month, Steele competed at the Eastern Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association’s Swimming (EOSSAA) competition. EOSSAA Swimming was hosted in Perth on Feb. 8. EOSSAA permits students to compete in a maximum of four individual events. She finished in first place in all four winning Gold in the following events: 50m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly, 100m IM (Individual Medley – Fly, Back, Breast, Free) and 100m Freestyle.

Steele’s passion for swimming began many years ago when she joined the Winchester Waves Swim Team. She continues to be involved with the WWST as a volunteer to help swimmers with stroke correction, entry dives and flip turns.

The 15-year-old, Grade 10 student hopes to qualify for OFSAA again next season but there are requirements to do so. Her school would need a coach who has no more than six swimmers and she would have to prequalify all over again which her mother. Cody Steele said, “Her odds would be good to qualify again.”