Nanaimo, June 2, 3, 4:  At times it was very windy and as the three-day meet progressed the temperatures rose but all in all the meet proved to be a showcase for high school track and field attracting 2,500 athletes representing 210 schools

Athletes from the Valley Royals Track Club represented a variety of schools at the meet and collected a good share of personal bests and medal performances.   

 Rowan Hamilton, representing Sardis Secondary, led the gold medal parade.  Hamilton placed first in both the junior boys hammer (52.38m new Jr. record) and discus event (41.94m) and for good measure he ran a leg on the Sardis 4x400m senior relay team that endured despite injuries and a pushing incident to win the bronze medal.

 A pair of significant personal best performances came from senior competitors Vikramjit Gondara in the hammer event and Tanner Geary in the 1500 meters.  Gondara once again surpassed his all time best with the high school hammer by tossing the sphere 60.90 meters, which may well be a new provincial high school record.   It was a significant performance and the first time that Gondara has exceeded 60-meters using this weight.  To top his weekend off, Gondara placed second in the discus with a toss of 40.88m.

 As for personal bests it would be difficult to top the performance turned in by Tanner Geary the grade 12 middle distance runner from Sardis.  Geary lopped seven seconds from his previous best for the 1500-meters as he covered the distance in 3:53.93.   Geary made a valiant effort to win the event and over the last 50-meters he had a step-by-step duel with Brendan Hoff (Reynolds).  With less then 30-meters left Geary actually took the lead only to be passed again just 5-meters before the tape.  Hoff won the event with 3:53.40, just over a half second in front of Geary.  It was a busy weekend for the Sardis runner who also placed fourth in a tightly contested 800m (1:56.38) and ran the anchor leg on his school’s bronze medal 1600m relay team. 

Daniel James (Sardis) was the gold medalist in the junior boys 1500 meters (4:13.63) in a race that sauntered along for the first three laps and then saw James take the lead with the bell and run his last 400-meters in 60 seconds.  James also ran the 800-meters but had to settle for an eighth place finish (2:06.13).

 Jayden Driver ended his high school career by capturing the silver medal in the senior boys’ hammer (53.50m) and the bronze medal in the discus throw (39.45m).   Next year Driver will continue his school throwing endeavors as a member of the SFU Clan track and field team.

 Michael Lambert returned to action after a lengthy layoff due to injury and proved that it won’t take much longer before he is back to his former self.  Lambert placed second in the high jump (1.95m) an event that was won by training centre athlete Joel Della Siega with a leap of 2.00m. 

 Tasha Willing brought her high school career to an end with the Chilliwack Sr Frontiers team by winning the silver medal in the senior shot put (11.82), placing fourth in the discus (36.08m) and fifth in the hammer (46.06m).

 A number of other club athletes had top eight performances.  Grade nine athlete Rachel Mortimer was fifth in the junior women’s 1500m (4:47.49) and sixth in the 3,000m (10:44.36).  For good measure during the exhausting three days that saw her go to the start line five times, Mortimer also ran on the Mouat 1600m relay team.

 Marley Hutchinson (MEI) placed sixth in the junior girls 200m hurdles (48.56) and eighth in the 80-meter hurdles (12.66) while sister Cassidy was seventh in the Jr. girls 800m (2:30.23).  Erica Johnson was seventh in the 1500m SC (5:39.88) and Abressia Foote placed seventh in the 1500m RW (9:07.56).

 Mouat secondary school behind, multiple points scored by VR members, placed second in the senior division of the meet.  Congratulations to the Abbotsford School and their father/son coaching duo of John and Cameron Smith.   Putting together a high school track and field team and making them competitive team wise has to be one of the most challenging tasks in high school sport.