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Hatzic athletes own podium at provincials

Mission track and field competitors earn slew of medals
Jojo Calverley

High school track and field coaches from across the province could have been forgiven if, following the B.C. championships last weekend in Langley, if they were wondering what’s in the water at Hatzic Secondary.

Hatzic took one of the smaller teams into the provincial meet, but they ended up as one of the most prolific, combining for an eye-popping seven medals including four gold.

“If I knew the secret, I’d share it,” Hatzic track and field coach Mike MacBlain said with a chuckle. “It’s just a good year, I guess.

“It’s just amazing what they’re doing.”

That it was.

Adam Lambert led the charge at the provincial meet, winning the aggregate award as the top senior boys performer after climbing the podium three times. He won gold in the discus (47.89 metres), silver in the hammer (54.08m) and silver in the shot put (14.55m).

The Grade 12 student expected to contend for medals in the discus and hammer, but was surprised at his performance in the shot put – he registered a personal best (PB) en route to second place.

“I guess that day, I was pumped and ready and was able to throw it 14.55,” he said. “Basically, that got me the aggregate.

“It’s a really good way to end my high school track and field career.”

Lambert’s younger brother Michael cleared 1.80m to pick up a bronze medal in the junior boys high jump, despite the fact he’s in Grade 9 and was competing against Grade 10s.

“I didn’t think I’d make it on the podium at provincials, because I’m in Grade 9,” he noted. “But once I started jumping, I calmed down.”

Bryce Mackenzie had won gold in the triple jump and silver in the high jump in the Grade 8 boys category at the Fraser Valleys. He improved to gold in both events at provincials, with winning leaps of 11.45m (triple jump) and 1.70m (high jump).

“Everybody else was nervous, but I was pumped and ready to go,” said Mackenzie, who set a PB in the high jump by 15 centimetres. “I get nervous, but I get good nervous. It’s adrenalin, rather than curl over and die.”

Jojo Calverley claimed the gold in a thrilling Grade 8 girls 400m run. She and two other runners crossed the finish line within 34 hundredths of a second of one another, and it took 15 minutes to confirm that Calverley was indeed the victor.

“I didn’t see anybody in front of me, so I thought maybe I’d won, but my coach wasn’t sure,” said Calverley, who clocked a time of 1:02.21. “I was very happy about it.

“I haven’t really done the 400 a lot – I’ve been doing more of the 800. So I’ve been getting a PB every single race I’ve done, and I’ve been getting better and better.”

All four Hatzic medal-winners are involved in track and field clubs – the Lamberts and Calverley are longtime members of the Abbotsford-based Valley Royals, while Mackenzie recently joined Golden Ears Athletics in Maple Ridge.