Kevin Rothbauer Citizen
Three gold medals propelled Cowichan Secondary School’s senior girls track and field team to fourth place in the team standings at the provincial high school championships in Nanaimo last week.
The top Island team in the standings, Cow High accumulated 38 points, just three fewer than first-place Earl Marriott.
Desirae Ridenour won double gold, taking first in the senior girls 1500m and 3000m races, while the 4x100m relay team defended their title from 2015.
Ridenour, who won both distances as a junior one year ago, finished first in the 1500m with a time of four minutes and 35.2 seconds, nearly eight seconds ahead of her closest rival. She won the 3000m with a time of 10:09.39, 10 seconds in front of the second-place runner.
The 4x100m relay team of Casey Heyd, Emily Lindsay, Nicole Lindsay and Chicago Bains won their event with a time of 48.95 seconds, not far off the provincial record of 48.27 set in 2015 by Heyd, Nicole Lindsay, Bains and Taryn Smiley. Cowichan also finished first in the preliminary round, holding off West Point Grey in both rounds.
“[We had] a nice lead which held between each of our passes,” Heyd said. “Our times were getting better with each race we ran. Our goal was 48 seconds, and we were so proud that we reached it yet again. The commentators on the live feed called our passing beautiful.”
The relay final marked the last race for the teammates, some of whom have run together for a long time.
“It was nostalgic knowing it was the last time we would all run together after so many years,” Heyd said. “Especially for Chicago and me, who have been on the same relay team since Grade 4.”
Heyd and Bains have won gold medals together in four of the last five provincial championships, taking silver when they were in Grade 9. Heyd, Bains and Nicole Lindsay have been on gold-medal teams together for the last three years.
“We had waited quite some time to be able to come together to run these relays,” Heyd said. “It’s been wonderful running with these lovely ladies over the years and I know we will most definitely all miss each other when next relay season comes around.”
Three members of the Cowichan relay team also ran individual races. Nicole Lindsay placed fifth in the senior girls 400m final after putting up the best time in the preliminaries, and finished eighth in the 200m final. Bains placed sixth in the 100m hurdles, the same event where she set the provincial record last year, and just missed the final in the 200m dash, finishing ninth in heats. Heyd placed 12th in the heats of the senior girls 100m dash.
Also representing Cow High at provincials were Noah Charles, who finished sixth in senior boys shot put and 20th in discus, and Emma Dewit, who placed sixth in the junior girls 100m final, 10th in the heats for the 200m, and 17th in long jump.
Brentwood College School also claimed two medals at provincials, both silvers in junior events won by Siôn Griffiths. Griffiths took second in the junior boys hammer with a throw of 51.87 metres, and in javelin with a throw of 51.91 metres. Both of Griffiths’s throws would have been B.C. records a year ago.
Griffiths also teamed up with Casper Poelan, Campbell Woike and Luke Handel to finish 15th in the junior boys 4x400m relay heats. Handel placed 25th in the junior boys long jump.
Madison Heisterman represented Queen Margaret’s School in the senior girls 800m, finishing second in the final after putting up the best time in the preliminaries. Heisterman is the provincial record holder in the junior girls 800m.
Frances Kelsey sent 12 athletes to the junior and senior provincial meets, more than any other school in the Valley. The school’s best result was a 13th-place finish by Quentin Currie in the senior boys high jump. Also competing in the senior ranks was Natalie McFall, who placed 23rd in the 400m preliminaries, and Riley Hogg, who was 24th in javelin.
Most of Kelsey’s athletes competed in the junior division, including the relay team of Ryan Coleman, Jace Hilton, Tyson Duffe and Logan Kits, who placed 18th in the heats for the junior boys 4x100m. Hilton also ran to 23rd place in the junior boys 100m preliminaries.
Mackenna Posey placed 14th in junior girls shot put, Mackenzie Johnston was 15th in junior girls high jump, Katie Farley was 17th in junior girls 3000m, Evan Kwasny placed 19th in junior boys discus, and Marissa Morris finished 27th in the heats of the junior girls 100m.
Chemainus Secondary sent three athletes to Nanaimo, including Nathaniel White, who finished 10th in the senior boys triple jump and 11th in high jump. Emily Guest placed 13th in senior girls high jump and 18th in triple jump, and Hannah Tuplin finished 19th in junior girls shot put.
Dwight School Canada’s result came from Liam Stephenson, who was eighth in the junior boys discus. Jose Garza finished 12th in the senior boys discus.