South Surrey, Cloverdale athletes could score big at track provincials

Elgin Park’s Jake Hanna will be among medal contenders in this weekend
Elgin Park’s Jake Hanna will be among medal contenders in this weekend's Grade 8/9 provincial championships.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja photo

If all goes well for south-end athletes this weekend at BC High School Track and Field Championships, a bushelful of medals could be headed back to South Surrey and Cloverdale schools.

The two-day event, which is to be held at Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium, begins Friday with preliminary heats and a handful of medal finals, and wraps up Saturday with a day full of final races and medal presentations.

And longtime Semiahmoo Secondary track and field coach Maureen de St. Croix – who retired from teaching this year but is still involved with the school’s track team – expects big things from local athletes, both from her squad and others.

“It could be a very, very big year for South Surrey and Cloverdale schools,” she predicted, adding that Langley’s Walnut Grove Gators – which such a large roster of athletes – are still the likely favourite for the overall team title.

Among the local favourites are Semiahmoo’s Meghan Palesch, who is coming off an injury but still among the contenders for a podium finish in the senior girls 100-m and 400-m hurdles, and Alison Williams, who won silver in the 800-m last year, could very well end up on top this time around.

Elgin Park’s Lexi Reimer will also run the 100-m and 200-m races, and teammate Reta Dobie will compete in senior girls high jump and 1,500-m. Max Hanna will also compete in javelin.

Earl Marriott Secondary’s Deon Clifford could also leave Swangard with a medal or two around his neck; he’ll run the 3,000-m and the 2,000-m steeplechase.

At Fraser Valleys earlier this month, he won the steeple event and took home silver in the 3,000.

High jumper Taylor Neveu will also compete for EMS.

A handful of Lord Tweedsmuir athletes will also be in the medal mix, de St. Croix predicted, led by Liam McKay, who will run the 800-m, and Ben Ingvaldson, who will compete in the hammer, shotput and discus throws in the Grade 8/9 championship.

Also in the Grade 8/9 championship, Elgin Park’s Jake Hanna will run the 100-m and 400-m hurdles.

“All these kids, they’re top-eight for sure – at least,” de St. Croix said of the Peninsula contingent.

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