Gryphons go all out at track zones

Team places first overall in both Grade 8 and senior groupings.

Smithers Secondary School hosted their track zones last weekend, and a few athletes set records and personal best.

“I think everyone did a great job,” head coach Jody Barber said. “I am really pleased  with how our athletes performed.”

Eight schools from the northwest zone made the trip out to Smithers, to compete in the usual running, jumping and throwing events.

Leading the way, Grade 8 Hannah Pow set a zone record in both the 800 metres and the 1500 metres.

“I think she just had great fitness coming into the season and there was no one who could challenge her,” club coach Neil Currie said.

“It’s pretty hard to set a record when you are all by yourself.”

Barber was also impressed with Pow’s breakaway speed.

“She has great endurance,” Barber said.

“At the end of the race on her last lap she turns it on and sprints past everyone. It’s a remarkable thing to watch.”

Pow was one of three Smithers athletes at the tournament given an outstanding performance award.

Senior Patty Spicer also had a strong weekend, finishing first in the discus, javelin and hammer throw.

Perhaps more extraordinary, her hammer throw mark of 33.89 metres was a personal best and she did it after only one practice this season.

“What really impressed me was the distance of her hammer toss,” Currie said. “It was better than qualifying standards at nationals, which is pretty hard to do.”

Rounding out the trio of Smithers’ athletes that received outstanding performance recognition, Janay Ma hit 1.45 metres in the high jump.

Many other athletes at the event qualified for provincials, but with so much going on at this time of year, Smithers Secondary won’t be sending a team.

Some of the athletes will head to the B.C. Games in Nanaimo and the B.C. Championships in Kamloops this summer, though those team lists have yet to be finalized.

All in all, it was a great meet for head coach Jody Barber, who will step down next year at Smithers Secondary to allow Neil Currie to take over.

“I just want to give a big congratulations to all of the athletes that competed,” Barber said.

“Everyone put in a great performance. They used their skills the best they could and the put in their best effort.

“That’s all you can ask for.”