Olympian Jessica Smith to be Guest Speaker for Banquet

Jessica Smith, a semi finalist at last summer’s London Olympic Games, has accepted an invitation to act as guest speaker at this year’s Valley Royals Awards banquet .  2012 was a break though year for Smith and one that saw her create a personal best for 800-meters and qualify for Canada’s Olympic Games team.  Jessica’s personal best came at last year’s Harry Jerome meet where she fought and won the 800-meter event in 1:59.86 in an exciting drive to the tape.  During her university running career at Simon Fraser University, Smith won national titles in both track and cross country.   At the Olympic Games Jessica was a semi finalist in the 800-meters.  In her talk Smith will highlight the ups and downs that an athlete will encounter in the path to athletic success.

This year’s Valley Royals banquet is scheduled for the Legacy Centre on Wednesday, February 13.  Let your coach know that you will be in attendance to enjoy an a great dinner and awards presentation that will see every athlete in attendance recognized.   

Alex Siemens Recipient of Frank Reynolds Bursary

Valley Royal middle distance runner Alexandra Siemens was named as one of three  recipients of the Frank Reynolds Bursary.  The other two finalists were North Vancouver’s Jess Hooton and Kala Stone of Kamloops.   Following are the citations for each of the three winners.  Frank Reynolds in his youth was an outstanding middle distance runner and as an adult he coached and produced a series of outstanding runners for the NorWesters Club.  

Jesse Hooton – only began running just over a year ago and this past fall won the 2012  BC Junior Club Championships as well as  placing  4th at the 2012 BC High School Cross Country Championships. He is now training seriously with Hershey Harriers Athletics Club under the tutelage of Cindy O’Krane and Darcie Montgomery showing immense dedication, leadership and talent.  Jesse attends Handsworth Secondary School, with plans to attend either the University of Victoria or UBC to study Political Science or Business.

Alexandra Siemens – has been running virtually all her life and is an Honours student at WJ Mouat in Abbotsford.  Alex won the BC High School Cross Country Championships while only in Grade 9 and has represented BC Athletics on both Track and Cross country teams over the past 3 years. Alex is a keen coach of younger athletes and hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a PE teacher. Coached by Sue Northey of the Valley Royals Track and Field Club, Alex plans to attend SFU or head south to the USA on scholarship to continue to improve her times and run XC for her school. 

Kala Stone – a South Kamloops Secondary School Honours student is a dedicated athlete, volunteer Track Rascals coach, and meet official with the Kamloops Track and Field Club. After winning the BC High School Championships 1500m in Grade 11, this fall Kala won the BC Junior Club Cross Country Championships and the following week placed 7th at the BC High Schools, and represented BC Athletics at the National XC Championships.  Kala hopes to attend an NCAA Division 1 school to compete and study Biology towards a future career in Physiotherapy.

The Whistler Spirit Run is the realization of the late coach Frank Reynolds’ vision to have a mass participation cross country event while encouraging and supporting British Columbia High School and University athletes through charitable donations and scholarship programs.

“I believe that sport teaches you what is really worthwhile in life and how much you can get out of hard work, sacrifice, and commitment”. – Frank Reynolds

Annual Awards Banquet Wednesday February 13th

On Wednesday evening, February 13 the gala Valley Royals Awards Banquet will be held at the Legacy Centre (adjacent the track at Rotary Stadium). Always an evening to be remembered, it begins with a scrumptious dinner and is followed by the ceremonies.

Every athlete that is a member of the Royals and attends the banquet will be honored and presented with an award for his/her accomplishments during 2012. All members of the Royals, their parents, brothers, sisters and friends are encouraged to mark February 13 on the calendar as a date set aside for this occasion.

Coaches will be taking the names of athletes and family members in their group that will be attending the banquet. More details will be forthcoming within the next two weeks.

Workouts for 2013 Have Started…

Christmas and the New Year celebration for the year 2012 are now both part of history
but we trust that all Valley Royal members had a great holiday season. It’s now time to get back to basics and that includes gearing up for the coming track and field season.  Individual coaches have been in contact with present members of the club and you are undoubtedly aware of the time and place for winter practices.

We can report that Ziggy’s speed/power group is holding practices from Monday to Thursday at ARC and on Saturday’s at Rotary. Sue Northey’s middle distance group will meet @ ARC on Tuesday (Tuesday, January 8 will be the first practice) and Thursday’s (3:45 p.m.) and Saturday (10:a.m.) at Rotary Stadium. The mid week practices will consist of running outdoors for the first hour and conclude with weight training indoors. Members of Sue’s group are asked to bring a change of shoes for the weight lifting part of the workout.

James Meehan will hold workouts for JD athletes 12 years to 14 years of age at ARC. James has sent out notices to athletes in this age division but if in doubt, give him a phone call or email.

If there are newcomers interested in being a member of one of the above groups, please email head coach Gerry Swan ([email protected]) or contact the individual coaches—all email addresses can be found on the web page.

Ruky Abdulai Expecting in the Spring

Heptathlon athlete, long jumper, sprinter, and wife will soon be able to add the title of mother to her many accomplishments. This coming spring Ruky will give birth to her first child and both mother and father are very excited about the prospect. Congratulations to the happy couple.

Helen Crofts Preparing for Competitive Return

After incurring a serious leg injury that forced her to miss the 2012 track season, Helen Crofts is making progress towards recovery. In 2011 Crofts was ranked third in Canada over 800-meters with a best time of 2:02.12. A scholarship graduate of SFU, Crofts won numerous titles at national collegiate championships and together with teammate, Jessica Smith, she gave the Valley Royals Track Club solid depth in the two-lap event. Welcome back Helen: we definitely are looking forward to your return to competition.

Valley Royals at Saturday’s Canadian XC Championships – Smith & Siemens Named to BC Team

Five Valley Royal athletes will brave what is expected to be wet and muddy conditions for this Saturday’s Canadian Cross Country Championships scheduled for Vancouver’s Jericho Beach Park.

Heading the club list of entrants are BC team members Jessica Smith and Alex Siemens. Smith has been named to the provincial team taking part in the 7-k senior women’s race while Siemens has been named to the BC junior women’s team competing over a 5-k course. Although Smith is much better known as an 800-meter runner (this past summer Jessica was a semi finalist in the 800m at the London Olympics) she enjoys the challenge of cross country running and feels that the rigors of the sport aids her endurance.

Callum Pilgrim, Jennifer Kell and Sarya Ross will join Siemens for the junior women’s competition with the four of them comprising a club team for scoring purposes. Four other Royals (Peter Mitchell, Oliver Jorgensen, Aiden Bingert and Erica Johnson) will take part in the community race that is being held in conjunction with the championships. This will be the first competition for Jorgensen since breaking his foot in late September, an injury he incurred by turning his ankle during a training run.

Valley Royal coach James Meehan has decided that he is ready for some competition and has entered the Master’s division of the championships. “I don’t expect to be leading the field by any mens but the race will certainly help me sympathize with the pain that my athletes endure when taking part in this sport,” stated Coach James.

After the heavy rain conditions that the lower mainland has been subject to for the past few weeks, it’s expected that the Jericho course will become progressively muddy as the day progresses. However, the present forecast suggests that Saturday may see only light rain showers and that could be a blessing.

Thanks to Everyone Who Took Part in the BC XC Championships

A huge thank-you and congratulations to all Valley Royal volunteers, members of
the BC Officials Committee and City of Abbotsford that turned out to work at and
support the BC Athletics Cross Country Championships.

The weather was inclement to say the least but the meet presentation was excellent. As is usual at Valley Royal meets, the food prepared by and served by Elaine Motion and family was superb and kept all the volunteers well fed—the chili, which we believe Elaine adapted
from a Charlotte Inman recipe, was a perfect match to the weather conditions.

The course was well planned and marked by Course Director Sue Northey and her
volunteer crew that included members of the club executive, parents and athletes. Thanks to Meet Coordinator, April Arsene, who pulled details together. Special thanks
to Cindy Miller for handling the entries and to Twyla Ross who made sure that we
had more than an adequate number of volunteers on hand.

Jason Swan and Shirley Young made certain that the timing and results were handled in the usual expedient manner and Marina Gibson added her expertise to the awards. Catherine Mastine contributed her registered nursing degree and first aid certification expertise to make sure that we had our medical needs covered. As always, John & Carol Cull assembled and administered a group of dependable BC Athletics officials who
braved the weather to lend a valuable assistance to the meet’s success.

We also wish to extend thanks to the City of Abbotsford Recreation department and particularly, Eric Fong, who cut paths over the hills and lent us a variety of equipment. Thanks are also extended to BC Athletics and particularly Maurice Wilson for the guidance
provided. Ocean Athletics, in the persons of Maureen and Ted, contributed much-need equipment for which we thank them for their generous help.

And to our generals, Gary Prince, Doug Heldman and Kim Johnston, who accumulated equipment of all types, including contributions from sponsors and those always ever needed porta-potties, and did yeomen service, our many thanks.

To everyone who helped: it was an outstanding meet made so by the athletes that took
part and ran so well and the many club workers and supporters who contributed so

Six Valley Royals Head to Prince George for BC HS XC Championships

Six Valley Royal athletes left for far off Prince George on Thursday (November 1) to
take part in the BC High School Cross Country Championships. Three of the athletes,
Callum Pilgrim, Alexandra Siemens and Sarya Ross, will be competing for Mouat
Secondary school’s female team that is a contender for the team championships in
the Northern City. This will be the last high school cross country competition for
Siemens as she is now in grade 12. Siemens, who won the high school individual
title three years ago in White Rock, has an excellent article concerning her by
Province Newspaper school reporter Howard Tsumura in this morning’s paper—it
can be found at: (www.theprovince.com/sports/high-school-zone/index.html).

Other Royals making the trip include Jennifer Kell (Hatzic) and Mouat runners
Aidan Bingert, Peter Mitchell & Arsh Ghanda.

Have a good run gang.