Some of the Bulkley Valley’s best track and field athletes are now provincial champions, bringing home a handful of medals at the meet earlier this month.
South Hazelton’s Regan Yee ran a personal best of 4:31 in the 1,500 metre and 2:13 in the 800 metre, capturing gold in both events at the B.C. Athletics Track and Field Championships Jamboree in Kamloops from July 11-13.
Smithers’ Hannah Pow posted a personal best of 5:38, capturing bronze in her first-ever 1,500 metre steeplechase, while Ryan Williams also won bronze in the 2,000 metre run with a time of 6:16.
“It was fantastic, we had three different medalists,” said head coach Neal Currie. “It’s good for us — we’re a small club in the North.”
However, the competition did have its challenges.
Pow raced with strep throat and still managed to post a personal best in her bronze-medal-winning performance.
“It was really fun and very hot in Kamloops,” said Pow. “It was my first time racing in [the steeplechase], there were a few spills, but it was a good race.”
The young racer will always try and battle back from being sick, added Currie.
“She’s a fighter. She’s not afraid to go out there and push herself and see what she’s got. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” he said. “But sometim es she’ll go out there, have a great time and pick up a medal.”
The scorching heat was also a problem for some athletes, racing in temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius.
“The heat in Kamloops was a big issue for [Williams],” said Currie. “And so the one he medalled in was done in the morning, it was only 24 degrees [Celsius].”
All the athletes smashed their personal bests as well.
Nolan Yee finished twelfth in the 1,200 metre and posted a 3:48; Matthew Bennett ran the 1,500 metre and 2,000 metre steeplechase in 4:36 and 7:14; Zoe Bizarro finished seventh in the 2,000 metre steeplechase; Haley Allen placed sixth in the pole vault, throwing 2.35 metres and Patty Spicer finished seventh in the hammer throw with a distance of 38.66 metres.
Pow, Williams and Spicer also qualify for the Royal Canadian Legion Youth Track and Field Championship in Langley from Aug. 15-17 before the track and field season ends.