Members of the Mid Island Distance running club that competed at the BC Athletics Track and Field Provincial Championship Jamboree in Kamloops. — Monica Bradbury photo

Mid Island Distance Running Club athletes shine at provincials

Team members bring home silver, bronze and records plenty of person-best times

Under unusually rainy and overcast skies, 13 members of the Mid Island Distance Running Club competed in the BC Athletics Track and Field Provincial Championship Jamboree.

The meet was held in Kamloops July 4-6 with more than 500 of the top age 14 and older athletes in the province going head to head in a friendly, but fierce competition. A highlight of the meet was having a touring team from Australia competing, before they moved on to Calgary, for the next meet on their itinerary.

Although all track and field disciplines from pole vault to hammer throw are offered at the meet, Mid Island Distance focuses on running events. Coaches Kim and Randy Longmuir could not be prouder of the performances and sportsmanship of all of their athletes as almost every one achieved a personal or seasonal best.

Highlights in performances included Jackson Isnor winning a silver medal and Juliette Desvaux, and the U18 women and men’s 4 x 400-metre relay teams winning bronze medals.

Isnor ran a strong efficiently paced 5,000-metre race to place second in the U20 age group while Desvaux ran a personal best of 25.31 in the heats of the 200 to advance to the finals, where she ran 25.76 in headwind conditions to place third and dip under Canadian standard in the U18 age group.

The women’s relay team was made up of speedster Desvaux, whose starting relay leg time would have placed her third in the women’s 400 event, Emily Hunt, Rhiannon Terpstra and Elise Cole. The bronze-medallist men’s team included the opening leg by Spencer Bradbury, followed by Jackson Isnor and Fraser Van Allen and anchored by Mid Island Distance and UVic track team member, Linden Kaps.

Other outstanding performances were turned in by Ballenas student, Bradbury, who ran personal bests in both his 400 and the grueling 400 hurdle race, to advance to the finals, placing fifth and sixth, respectively. Bradbury’s hurdle time took him under Canadian standard in the U18 age group.

Cole also ran personal bests in her 400 and 400 hurdle races finishing close to the medals in fifth and sixth. One of Canada’s top U18 distance runners in 2018, Fraser Van Allen is rounding back into racing form after losing his entire high school season to illness. Fraser placed seventh in the 800 in 1:58.58, off his best of 1:55.91, but he will have a few more races during the summer to test his fitness.

Desvaux, Bradbury, Hunt and Rylan Irving, have all qualified to compete in the Canadian U16 and U18 Championships in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Aug. 9-11 and are planning to make the trip. Van Allen is very close to qualifying and in the 2018 placed in the top six in Canada in both the 800 and 1,500.

The Mid Island Distance Running Club was started in 2017, by long time local NCCP High Performance and Oceanside Track and Field Club coaches, Kim and Randy Longmuir.

The club is open to Grade 8 and older athletes who live on mid Vancouver Island and love to run. There is no pace too slow and no expectation that an athlete has to compete. All that is asked for is a commitment to come out, be willing to work hard and support your teammates. The goal is for athletes to improve their personal bests, feel successful about their running and have fun. Practices are held all year long in Oceanside and Nanaimo.

Mid Island Distance is very grateful and appreciative of the support they have received from the Oceanside Running Club Association (ORCA) and the Regional District of Nanaimo Youth Recreation Grants.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about Mid Island Distance should contact Kim or Randy at 250-248-8515 or ranlong@telus.net

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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