Valley’s fast feet run up the count at Island track meet

Taryn Smiley was named the Outstanding Female Athlete, Ben Williams broke an Island record, and three members of the Lindsay family qualified for the provincial championships as Cowichan Secondary School placed third overall at the Island track and field meet in Victoria last week.

Smiley finished first on the Island in the senior girls 100m and 200m races, and joined with Chicago Bains, Nicole Lindsay and Casey Heyd to take gold in the 4x100m, setting high expectations for the provincial meet in Langley at the end of May.

Smiley was one of 17 Cow High athletes to qualify for provincials by finishing among the top three in their events in Victoria last week. Frances Kelsey and Queen Margaret’s School qualified two athletes apiece, while Dwight International School had one provincial qualifier.

Smiley’s 4x100m teammates made their own marks in individual events, as well. Bains, a Grade 10 running as a senior, won the 100m hurdles. Nicole Lindsay won the junior girls 100m and placed second in the 200m, and Heyd placed second in the junior girls 100m.

"I’m really excited," Lindsay said. "I’ve been working hard, so it’s cool to see my hard work put to the test. Having gone [to provincials] last year, that was really fun, so I was hoping to go again."

Two other Lindsay family members also qualified for provincials: Liam finished first in the senior boys long jump and second in the 200m and helped Cow High to second in the 4x100m relay, and Emily was part of the junior girls 4x100m relay team that placed first.

Liam has switched from concentrating on triple jump to long jump and 200m, and his decision has paid off.

"It’s definitely different for me," he acknowledged. "I’ll have to see how it goes."

Emily and relay teammates Olivia Burton, Brigitte Reid and Denise Roy had lofty aims going into the Island meet.

"We were expecting to qualify, and it was exciting when we did," she said. "We had the right mindset, going in positive."

Liam Lindsay was joined on the senior boys relay team by Kaelan Colbourne, Riley Caljouw and junior athlete Ben Williams. Colbourne qualified for provincials in long jump, and Williams had an incredible meet, breaking the Island junior boys record in triple jump by nearly half a metre. The previous record of 12.77m was set in 2000, and Williams crushed it with a jump of 13.21m. He also qualified for provincials by placing third in the junior boys high jump and 200m.

Cow High swept the boys triple jump golds, as Kain Melchior won the senior boys event, as well as placing second in long jump. Also from Cow High, Josh Charles finished first in high jump and third in javelin. Eric Williams of Dwight International School qualified for provincials by placing third in the senior boys 100m.

Cowichan also had one other senior girls qualifier as Makenna Campbell placed third in shot put. Kelsey’s Tia Baker was first in the senior girls 400m, and second in both the 100m and 200m, and Abby Wadsworth of QMS placed second in high jump.

Joining Ben Williams as individual junior boys qualifiers from Cow High were Andrew Derocher, who placed third in both the high jump and triple jump, and Noah Charles, who was second in shot put. Roy, in addition to her relay gold, also was first in the 100m and second in the 200m. Kelsey had one junior girls qualifier as Desirae Ridenour finished first in the 3000m and third in the 1500m, while QMS’s Madison Heisterman won the 1500m.