High school tracksters advance to provincials

blustery conditions proved to be the wind beneath students' wings

In what has been a year that for some students will most certainly be remembered in part for cancelled high school sports, Ballenas Secondary still managed to turn in a strong showing at the Vancouver Island Track and Field Championships in Victoria.

Played out May 16-17 at UVic’s Centennial Stadium, the Island finals may have been down in numbers but those that were able to compete showed plenty of pluck. Of the 10 Whalers that qualified for the Islands, three of them advanced the provincials.

Grade 9 Kabir Bellerose “had an exceptional meet,” team co-coach Kim Longmuir said after, pointing out he set a new Island High School record and won the Bantam 300 metre hurdle event with a time of 43.97.

Kabir, she said, also set personal bests in finishing sixth in the Bantam 100 metres (12.21), and third in the Bantam 200 metres (24.91).

Longmuir said those times should ensure that he is selected to the Invitational Grade 8/9 100m and 200m events at the High School Provincial meet. Unfortunately, the 300m hurdle event is not contested at the provincial meet.

Grade 11 Daniel Stewart placed third in the Open Hammer Throw with a personal best throw of 40.67m, as well as fifth in the Shot Put, and will be heading to Burnaby to compete in these events. Caitlinn Jenkins (Gr. 11) placed fifth in the 1500m Racewalk, and will likely be selected to compete at provincials.

Other athletes representing Ballenas well were Marco Viedas (Gr. 12), who placed seventh in a very competitive 800m final; Taylor Chestnut (Gr. 11) who narrowly missed advancing to the finals in the 800m, and Colson Schneider in the 800m and 1500m events.

Other Oceanside Track and Field Club athletes, representing their Nanaimo schools at this meet, advanced to the provincial championship meet.

Those athletes are Miryam Bassett (800m and 1500m), Rebecca Bassett (800m and 1500m), Peter Oxland (3000m and 4x400m relay) and Thomas Oxland (800m, 1500m, and 4x400m relay).

The meet was held under clear, but windy conditions, “and all of our athletes were great ambassadors for the school.

“Yes, the numbers were down significantly at Islands, and will be at Provincials (as well),” said Longmuir.

The BC High School Provincials are being held today (Friday) and Saturday at Swangard Stadium.

“The provincials is always a very high level, exciting meet, with stellar performances and outstanding organization.”