It was a record-breaking weekend for one member of the Ocean Athletics Track and Field Club earlier this month on Vancouver Island.
At B.C. Junior Development Championships, held July 12-14 in Nanaimo, South Surrey’s Niki Duchesne broke the provincial discus record for 11-year-old girls, shattering a mark that had stood since 1998.
Duchesne threw 29.29 m to break the old mark of 28.53, which had been held by Stephanie Mrdeza of the Cowichan Valley Athletic Club.
“That’s a record that’s been around for a little while, so it was great to see Niki break it,” said Ocean Athletics head coach Maureen de St. Croix.
Duchesne also won gold in the shotput and bronze in the javelin, but wasn’t the only Ocean Athletics thrower to find herself atop the podium. In the 12-year-old girls javelin, Rori Denness cruised to a gold medal with a best toss of 34.84 m, beating the next closest competitors by more than six metres.
Denness is B.C.’s current javelin record-holder in her age group, having thrown 38.02 m earlier this year. She broke the previous mark of 33.47-m.
“It was a little too windy in Nanaimo for there to be any records in the javelin this time, but she still won handily” de St. Croix said. “We knew all our throwers were going to do well – we have great throwing coaches and they’ve been working hard with them, and the results are showing.”
Denness also picked up a silver medal in the 12-year-old girls 800-m race walk.
Other Ocean Athletics athletes to capture medals in Nanaimo included Katie Deslauriers, who won gold in the 11-year-old girls long jump; Eniko Sara, who won gold in the javelin, Nicholas Pavelich, who won gold in the nine-year-old boys 60-m, 100-m and the high jump, and silver in the 60-m hurdles; Harjoven Sidhu, gold in the 10-year-old boys 100-m and bronze in the 60-m dash and high jump; Christopher Gan, winner of the 11-year-old boys 60-,100-, and 200-m races, plus the 60-m hurdles; Evan Ellison, who claimed silver in the 12-year-old boys 300-m; Liam Kobylanski, third in the nine-year-old boys 600-m and 1,000-m; and Harrison Almrud, who was second in 12-year-old boys 1,200-m.
The same weekend that many of her younger teammates were in Nanaimo, Ocean Athletics’ Kathryn Van Ryswyk was in Sainte-Therese, Que., where she finished on the podium in the pole vault at the Canadian Junior Track and Field Championships.
Van Ryswyk, who won a pole-vault title at BC High School Championships in June, cleared the bar at 3.7 m to win the bronze medal.
Another Ocean Athletics’ member, Deon Clifford, was second in the men’s 3,000-m steeplechase, which qualifies him to compete at the Pan-Am Junior Games, set for Medellin, Colombia Aug. 23-25.