NAMPA, IDAHO—Sat., February 9
Valley Royal members Helen Crofts and Chantel Desch were leaders for the Simon Fraser Women’s team that placed fifth out of nine teams at the Great Northwest Conference Championships.
Crofts, the Canadian international, won the women’s 800 meters in a time of 2:12.29 and Desch ran a personal best 57.23 seconds to place second in the 400 meters. Later in the meet Crofts and Desch teamed up with Sarah Sawatzky and Michaela Kane to win the 4×400 meter relay in a conference record clocking of 3:48.36.
Other Valley Royals that took part in the meet included Kayla Lennea with 12th in the 800 meters and Travis Vugteveen who ran the men’s 800 meters.
Both Crofts and Desch will now represent SFU at the Division 2 NCAA Championships that take place in two week’s time in Birmingham, Alabama. This will mark the first appearance for SFU at the Division 2 NCAA Indoor National Championships.
Over 165 athletes, parents and guests were in attendance Wednesday
evening at the Valley Royals Awards’ Banquet held at Abbotsford’s Legacy Centre
Olympians’ Jessica Smith and Mike Mason were chosen as the club’s
Outstanding Senior athletes for 2012. Smith was an 800-meter semi finalist in
London while Mason placed eighth in the final of the men’s high jump.
Manpreet Grewal, the hammer throw silver medalist at the Canadian Midget
Championships, was named the Youth Division Athlete of the year, all round athlete
Hannah Konrad won those honors in the midget category and Vikramjit Gondara, a
triple medal winner in the throws at the BC Championship, was selected as the
winner in the junior development division.
Trevor Wight, the track coach at Yale Secondary School, won the Jane Swan
award for service to the community and Doug Heldman, the hard working vice
president of the club, received the Valley Royals service award.
Jessica Smith delivered the keynote address. In an inspirational talk, Smith
outlined her athletic progress from the time she was a young athlete in North
Vancouver through her illustrious career at Simon Fraser University to last year
when she realized her dream of becoming an Olympian. Smith emphasized to the
young athletes that progress is not always smooth or in a straight line and
that athletic success is dependent upon a strong support group plus a strong self
image and a firm belief in what is possible.
Smith paid special tribute to the late Frank Reynolds who guided her through
her years as a young athlete and SFU coach and former Olympian Brit Townsend,
who guided her to international stature.
All Around Athlete – Toni Goode Award
Maguire Wakelyn – JD
Rookie of the Year – Colleen Gibson Award
Mackenzie Roy – JD
Callum Pilgrim – Midget
Connor Harrison – Youth
Most Improved – Greg Duhaime Award
Parker Janzen – JD
Spencer Spenst – Midget
Oliver Jorgensen – Youth
Aisha Klippenstein – Jr
Travis Vugteveen – Sr
Inspirational Athlete – Matt Peters Award
Mehroop Takhar – JD
Hailey Gibson – Youth
Chantel Desch – Jr
Outstanding Athlete – Brit Townsend Award
Vikramjit Gondara – JD
Hannah Konrad – Midget
Manpreet Grewal – Youth
Mike Mason – Sr
Jessica Smith – Sr