Valley Royals Athletes Dominate Hammer Throw at Nationals

Congratulations to Vik, Rowan and Jayden on their performance at Nationals this past weekend!

Vikramjit Gondara won gold and Rowan Hamilton (U18 athlete stepping up to U20 for this event and current U18 Canadian record holder) won silver in U20 Hammer Throw at the Canadian Track & Field Championships in Ottawa. Both Vik and Rowan achieved identical top throws of 62.37m with their second best throws determining who won. Jayden Driver achieved 8th place in U20 Hammer Throw with a throw of 47.04m

Photo: Rowan Hamilton, Vikramjit Gondara and Jayden Driver. All three athletes are trained by Valley Royals Coach Harold Willers.

National Champion

Congratulations to Valley Royal athlete, Alexa  Porpaczy who achieved First Place in High Jump at the National Championships in Ottawa this week! Alexa won the Junior category with a jump of 1.77 m

Photo Credit: James Porpaczy
(Taken at the Harry Jerome International Meet)

New Canadian Record!

Rowan Hamilton sets Canadian Record in Youth Hammer!

Universal Meet!:

Congratulations to Rowan Hamilton who has set the new Canadian Youth Record for Hammer at 67.72m.

Payne earns huge PB in Javelin
Valley Royals javelin thrower Elliott Payne earned first place at the Universal Meet this past weekend. Payne broke his previous record of 48.12 with a throw of 55.18 metres.


It’s been more than two years since the Valley Royals hosted a track and field meet but the job accomplished during the Athletics portion of the BC Summer Games showed that the club is still more than capable of staging a first rate competition…


It’s been more than two years since the Valley Royals hosted a track and field meet but the job accomplished during the Athletics portion of the BC Summer Games showed that the club is still more than capable of staging a first rate competition.   To go along with the organizational success, club athletes won five medals during the two-day meet.

“This was undoubtedly one of the best organized of the BC Games Athletics competitions and as a club member that makes me feel proud,” stated Dale Loewen the government appointee to oversee the Games track and field segment.

A successful meet means that hours of planning has had to go into the production and thanks for that has to go to Debbie Foote who assumed the role of Athletics Chair and as such attended numerous Games’ meetings and made the appointments that are vital to a successful meet.  Serving under Debbie was Sue Northey in the position of meet director and her firm hand meant that that no significant problems arose.  Dave Driver had the unenviable chore of assuring that all equipment and implements needed were provided and positioned at the various venues.   Jason Swan and Shirley Young, as usual, timed the track events and processed results. John and Carol Cull coordinated the officiating and made certain that all event areas were covered while Peter Fejhar made several trips to Abbotsford from his home in the lower mainland, including the days of the Games, to assure that the venue was technically up-to-scratch.

And like an army, the array of officials and volunteers need to be fed if they are to retain the energy to carry out their assignments.  Thanks for this go to Elaine Motion and Christa McAuley, and their crew of volunteers, who first of all scrubbed out the food room and then spent the next two days preparing and serving the food. 

And high praise is extended to our young JD athletes who served as basket carriers transporting the contestant’s warm-ups from the start of a race to the finish and, despite the hot sun, remained with their assignments from beginning to end.

And there were countless other Valley Royal parents and athletes who performed a variety of duties and for that the club is very thankful.

And competitively club athletes won three individual and two relay medals.  Rachel Mortimer completed her season on a high-note and was rewarded for following her coaches advise.  Rachel, who loves to lead in the early portion of races but can pay dearly for that endeavor during the latter laps, with the firm encouragement of her coach, was much more patient this time.   Rachel won the silver medal in the 2,000 meters (3:45.50) finishing just one second behind gold medalist Anna Maslechko  (3:49,50).  Mortimer took the bronze medal in the 1200 meters (3:45.50).

Josh Carsience, who is best known for his middle distance running, took up the pole vault for this competition and came away with a bronze medal with a height of 2.60 meters.

Elliott Payne threw the javelin 35.52m to finish 10th in his competition.

The club’s final medals were awarded to Cassidy Hutchison and Shaunika Suriya as members of the Zone 3 girls’ 4×400 meter relay team that won the gold medal. 


Canada Sr/Jr Championships 2016


Edmonton, Alberta July 7-10, 2016:  Mike Mason won the men’s high jump silver medal on Saturday evening, but more importantly, his second place finish assured him of selection to Canada’s Olympic Team headed for Brazil.

Mason cleared 2.23 meters at the meet to place second behind Canadian record holder Derek Drouin’s 2.30 meters.  Django Lovett gave the Royals a second medal in the high jump as his performance of 2.18 meters was the bronze medal height.

Vikramjit Gondara moved up an age division at this meet but still was able to win the silver medal in the junior hammer with a throw of 58.94 meters.  Gondara also took part in the discus event and finished seventh (42.92m).

But for the last 30-meters of her senior women’s 800 meter race, Jessica Smith might also have been on her way to Brazil.   Smith had secured the Olympic standard last year and to assure herself of a place on the Canadian team she needed to place second at these trials.  Until the last 30-meters she had second place in her grasp but things seemed to collapse over those final painful meters and she fell to fourth position with a time of 2:03.77.

Lindsey Butterworth came up with an excellent effort in the senior women’s 800m placing fifth in the final with a personal best time of 2:04.55.  Butterworth will now extend her season by traveling to Europe to take part in several invitational meets on that continent. 

Jayden Driver had a successful meet by placing fifth in the junior men’s hammer (54.54m) in a tightly contested battle for the bronze medal.  Had Driver been able to throw 24-cm further he would have been the bronze medalist.  Driver was ninth in the discus with a toss of 41.00m.

Tanner Geary got his first taste of national championship competition and it taught him that tactical racing is the name of the game at this meet.  In his heat of the junior men’s 1500 meters, Geary positioned himself well in a very slow paced race and was able to secure third place (4:01.14) to qualify for the final.   The final was again a tactical run and Geary learned that the last 300-meters is like an all out sprint at this level and after all was said and done he settled for seventh position (4:01.14).

Tasha Willing traveled to the championships and equipped herself well by placing fifth in the junior women’s shot put (11.72m) and ninth in the hammer (44.68m).

Valley Royal Event Centre athletes Joel Della Siega won the junior men’s high jump with an impressive leap of 2.10m while Alexa Porpaczy was the silver medalist in the junior women’s high jump (1.71m).

Royals Named to B.C. TEAMS!


Five Valley Royal athletes and Coach Ziggy Szelagowicz have been named to the BC team(s) that will travel to Edmonton for the Canadian junior and senior championships taking place July 7-10.

Named to the senior team are high jumps Django Lovett and Mike Mason plus 800 meter specialist Jessica Smith.  At the present time Lovett (2.23m) and Mason (2.20m) are ranked second and third respectively in the Canadian rankings while Smith holds the number two position (2:01.84) in the women’s 800 meters.  All three athletes will be striving for performances that will gain them selection to the Canadian team that will compete this August in the Brazil Olympic Games.

Vikramjit Gondara and Tanner Geary have been selected to the BC Junior team.  At last week’s BC High School Championships, Gondara set a pending BC record in the 6-k hammer with a toss of 60.90 meters while Geary ran a personal best 3:53.93 in the men’s 1500 meters. 

Joining the above on the BC junior team are club-training athletes Tanika Dolfo (women’s hammer), Joel Della Siega (men’s high Jump) and Alexa Propaczy (women’s high jump).

Ziggy Szelagowicz has been named to the BC team in the position of jumps coach.

Athletes competing in the senior division of the meet will be contesting selection to this summer’s Canadian Olympic team that takes place in Brazil while the juniors will have their eyes on selection to the national team competing at either the World Junior Championships in Poland or the Under 20 Championships in El Salvador.



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.

Hutchison Sisters Impress!

This past week at the Fraser Valley Championships, Valley Royal athletes and sisters, Cassidy and Marley Hutchison showed the competition what they are made of.  Both competed in the junior category, earning impressive personal bests in several of their events.  Cassidy, the younger of the two, competed in the 800m and the 400m.  HutchisonShe earned a PB of 1:02.26 in the 400m, easily qualifying for the BC High School Provincials.  Marley earned personal bests in both her individual events and placed high enough that she will be joining her sister and the rest of the Valley Royals team at Provincials.  Perhaps even more satisfying for Cassidy and Marley is that both of their relay teams qualified for the upcoming meet and they will be working together to go for a spot on the podium.