A record-breaking double-gold performance by Frances Kelsey’s Alexa Dow led an impressive showing by Cowichan Valley athletes at the B.C. high school track and field championships in Langley last week.
Dow finished first in the junior girls 1500m and 800m races, setting new provincial high school records in both events as she beat out stiff competition from across B.C.
Dow’s time of 4:25.29 in the 1500m improved on the previous high school record by six seconds, and also broke the B.C. U16 record of 4:26.33 set by Olympian Malindi Elmore in 1995. Dow’s time of 2:10.11 in the 800m shaved 1.86 seconds off the old standard, set by Brentwood College School’s Madison Heisterman in 2015.
Both of Dow’s times would have also won the senior girls events this year as well.
Another Kelsey athlete, Nova Wedmann-Kent, finished just off the podium at fourth in the senior girls high jump, and placed 18th in the preliminaries for the 100m. Makenna Forcier placed 12th in the Grade 8 girls long jump and 13th in high jump, and Damen Marinakis attended for Grade 8 boys high jump, but did not compete in the final.
Brentwood athletes also brought home a pair of medals as Norbert Marasek won gold in the junior boys 100m hurdles and Luise Hitzbleck took bronze in the junior girls steeplechase. Marasek also finished sixth in the junior boys 100m, while Hitzbleck was eighth in the junior girls 3000m and just missed the final in the 800m, placing ninth in the preliminaries.
Isaac Ryan was 13th in the preliminaries for the junior boys 200m and 17th in the 100m prelims, Mia Gramstad placed 25th in the junior girls 400m prelims, and Julia Doehler attended for junior girls shot put, but did not compete in the final.
Sisters Margo and Annette Blumel brought home identical bronze medals in the 1500m race walk, Margo in the senior girls event for Cowichan Secondary, and Annette in the junior girls event for Quamichan School.
Also from Cowichan, Evan Mayer placed seventh in senior boys javelin, Erica Kissinger was 15th in senior girls shot put, Lexy Lazenby finished 16th in senior girls hammer, Graeme Dailey placed 24th in senior boys javelin, and Rachel Buck was 26th in senior girls javelin. And from Quamichan, Brodie Wade placed 17th in the Grade 8 boys shot put.
From Duncan Christian School, Connor Hengstler earned a bronze medal in senior boys shot put with a personal best throw of 13.08 m and placed 13th in hammer throw with another personal best of 29.91 m. Teammate Jayden Croswell finished 13th in shot put with his own personal best of 10.94 m. Ben Bennett placed ninth in the junior boys long jump. Grade 8 shot put qualifier Selah Telford was unable to attend the meet.
Queen Margaret’s School sent four athletes to provincials, all in Grade 8 events. Ethan Chen placed second in boys high jump, with Angus Heys in 10th, Kai Joseph was 11th in boys shot put, and Layla Walker placed ninth in the girls 400m prelims and 16th in the 800m prelims.
Queen of Angels School had one representative in Langley: Chase Buckley, who placed 16th in the Grade 8 boys 400m prelims.