Walnut Grove’s Bob Nicol competes in the Grade 8 boys sprint hurdles at the 2016 B.C. High School Track and Field Championships at Nanaimo’s Rotary Bowl stadium. Greg Sakaki Black Press Black Press file photo

Let the Games begin

More than 2,500 athletes will be going for gold at Langley’s McLeod Athletic Park

For Leah Pells, competing at the B.C. high school track and field provincial championships was an eye-opening experience.

Competing for Langley Secondary at the 1980 and 1981 championships, Pells didn’t find the podium, nor did she run particularly well.

“I remember I didn’t run well either year, so I was disappointed,” she recalled.

“I don’t think I placed higher than eighth. But it was a great event.”

Of course, her lack of podium finishes didn’t hamper Pells, who went on to compete at three Olympic Games for Canada as a middle distance runner and at one point was ranked No. 1 in the world.

“I always tell kids that if you don’t do well there, there is still lots of time,” she said.

“Whatever happens there, you can build on it and propel yourself forward.

“I always remind kids that this is just one experience of many that you are going to have.”

Starting Thursday (June 1), 2,500 athletes will go for gold as McLeod Athletic Park hosts the 2017 B.C. high school track and field championships.

The meet runs until Saturday.

And to celebrate the meet’s 50th year, former Canadian Olympic athletes, national team members and provincial high school champions, will be on hand throughout the meet to present medals in the various events.

The list of presenters is still being finalized, but will include shot putter Dylan Armstrong, who won bronze at the 2008 Games.

Andrew Lenton serves as the track and field commissioner for BC School Sports, and he says while the event itself has gotten bigger — more athletes competing and the ability to live stream events thanks to advances in technology, to name a couple — the meet remains a marquee event.

“When I competed in high school, this was one event that was on the national landscape,” he said.

Lenton won bronze in the 1500m in 1984 as a Grade 10 student.

“This is where you want to be at your best and I don’t think that has changed (over time).”

For more on the championships, visit www.langleytimes.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Kiana Bekar of the Langley Christian Lightning competes in senior girls’ long jump at the 2016 B.C. High School Track and Field Championships at Nanaimo’s Rotary Bowl stadium. Greg Sakaki Black press file photo

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

Say ‘Hi’ to the mountains (and rain): The smoke is gone from the Fraser Valley, for now

Saturday’s Fraser Valley air quality forecast at ‘moderate risk,’ but morning showers leave skies clear

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at Abbotsford border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read