‘Run fast, jump high.”
Such was the unsolicited guidance, yelled out in jest, that could be heard coming from the sidelines on more than a few occasions during last week’s BC High School Track and Field Championships, which were held at Langley’s McLeod Park. And though the competing athletes no doubt heeded more advanced, detailed pointers from coaches throughout three days of competition, sometimes the best advice is the simplest.
And judging by the number of medals they won, Surrey athletes listened.
Athletes from across the city, including the Semiahmoo Peninsula, found themselves on the podium at both senior and junior events.
Overall, Earl Marriott Secondary was the top placing Surrey school at the triple-A level, finishing seventh overall in team standings. The school’s medal haul was led by senior runner Sajjan Sarai, who won silver in the senior boys 400-m and bronze in the 800-m. Fellow EMS senior Rori Denness won gold in senior girls javelin; and Macey Michaud won bronze in senior girls pole vault.
Marriott’s junior athletes got into the act, too, with Olivia Van Ryswyk winning gold in junior girls pole vault and Tristan Ghinzel claiming bronze in boys’ pole vault.
The Semiahmoo Totems, meanwhile, were led by junior Michael Miller, who won gold in the junior boys 1,500-m steeplechase on Day 1 of the competition Thursday afternoon, and later in the week won his second gold medal, in the junior boys 3,000-m.
In the 1,500-m steeple race, Miller finished just ahead of Fleetwood Park’s Jaiveer Tiwana, who won silver.
A second Semiahmoo junior, Isabelle Forsyth, also won a gold medal Thursday, winning the girls discus competition.
The Totems’ lone senior to find the podium was Alexa Porpaczy, who out-jumped the competition in senior girls high jump, winning gold with a best mark of 1.70-m. The gold medal is Porpaczy’s fifth at high-school provincials dating back to her Grade 8 year. The University of Arizona commit had been aiming to clear the bar at 1.82-m, which would not only have tied B.C.’s senior girls record – set in 2008 by former D.P. Todd (Prince George) standout Alyx Treasure – but also qualified Porpaczy for IAAF U20 world championships, set for mid-July in Tampere, Finland.
Porpaczy will still have a few more club meets between now and then to hit the mark.
Southridge School was also well-represented at the Langley track, led by dual-medallist Maya Kobylanski, who won silver in the junior girls 1,500-m steeplechase Thursday, and later snagged bronze in the junior girls 3,000-m. At the senior level, Southridge’s Cayla Smith won bronze in senior girls 400-m while also placing fifth in 400-m hurdles.
For the second year in a row, Sullivan Height Secondary’s Dolly Gabri won gold in both senior girls shot put and discus, while White Rock Christian Academy was represented on the podium with Grade 8 Yang Luo, who won gold in 100-m hurdles and silver in 200-m hurdles; and Colin Murray, who was first in three events in the mixed para-ambulatory division – 100-m, 400-m and shot put.
Cloverdale’s Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary had a handful of medal winners, too. Nickolas Sebastianelli won bronze in Grade 8 boys 200-m; Tyler Wilson won gold in junior boys 1,500-m race walk; Sara Eniko won junior girls javelin gold; Michael Ogbeiwi won gold in Grade 8 boys shot put; and Olivia Neuman won silver in the 100- and 400-m races in the Special Olympics division.
Beyond the south end of the city, Queen Elizabeth Secondary’s Jasneet Nijjar was a triple medallist, winning gold in the 100- and 200-m senior girls races, while adding a silver in the 400; and Charn Nijjar won silver in junior boys shot put.
Surrey Christian speedster Kenny Blackman also won one of the weekend’s most popular events, taking gold in the senior boys 100-m dash.
Fraser Heights’ Katarina Vlahovic was second in Nijjar in the 200-m and also won gold in 100-m hurdles; Krysthina Vlahovic won gold in Grade 8 girls 80- and 200-m hurdles; and Estella Mainella won silver in junior girls 100-m.
Holy Cross runner Riley Miller was first in the senior boys 3,000-m, while fellow senior Adam Vilio was third in 400-m hurdles; and Aiden Miller won bronze in the 2,000-m senior boys steeplechase.
Pacific Academy was led by junior Praise Aniamaka, who won gold in junior boys 200-m hurdles and triple jump, and bronze in 100-m hurdles. Junior teammate Laysha Tunti won gold in girls 80-m hurdles.
Enver Creek Secondary’s lone medallist was Special Olympic division winner Thomas Rak, who won gold in both the 100- and 400-m races.