Back in early spring, South Surrey high-jumper Alexa Porpaczy said her goal this year was to be able to jump her height.
And while the five-foot-11 16-year-old has not yet reached such a lofty standard, Saturday provided her a pretty good consolation prize – a national under-18 title.
The Semiahmoo Secondary student was in Saint-Therese, Que. – a suburb of Montreal – last weekend, where she captured the gold medal at 2016 Legion National Track and Field Championships in the under-18 division.
Porpaczy won the event with a jump of 1.69-m, which was three centimeters higher than silver medallist Eve St. Denis of Quebec. Saskatchewan’s Joely Welburn was third, with a top jump of 1.63-m.
“I’m happy with the result, but not necessarily (how high) I jumped,” Porpaczy said from Montreal Monday, a few hours before the event’s closing ceremony.
Weather played a role in her final score, she added.
“There was a really strong headwind that we had to jump into, so it made it harder,” she said. “The weather was crazy – every day it’s been in the thirties and windy.”
On Sunday, Porpaczy – who won gold at nationals last year in the under-16 division – also added a bronze medal to her collection, as part of B.C.’s 4×400 girls relay team.
“It’s been a lot of fun –I’ve really enjoyed being a part of this team,” she said.
For Porpaczy, the gold medal at Canadian championships is the latest triumph in a track-and-field season that has been filled with accolades and podium-finishes.
The Peninsula teenager has been Canada’s top-ranked under-18 girls high-jumper all season, and at a meet in Nanaimo in mid-July she set a new personal-best mark of 1.76-m, beating her previous top jump by one centimetre.
In June, she won high-jump gold at BC High School Track and Field Championships in Nanaimo, and followed that performance by competing at the prestigious Harry Jerome Classic, where she was invited to compete alongside a handful of Canada’s top athletes – many of whom are currently in Rio, competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The national championships mark the end of the track-and-field season for Porpaczy, who said she’ll take a bit of time off before training resumes in late September or October.