There is strength in numbers – and New Westminster Secondary track and field coach Bryan MacMaster can point to that as his team prepares for this weekend’s B.C. High School Track and Field championships in Langley.
New West is sending a fleet of 20 athletes, including 10 seniors, to the spotlight meet.
Coming off a strong showing at last week’s regionals, he envisions plenty of good things despite the wet weather forecast.
“I think we could see some medals, and I want to see kids having a good time,” said McMaster. “It would be great to get see kids make personal bests and just go up against the best competition.”
Among the team’s many standouts are a handful who could enjoy a breakthrough, including Grade 12s Emily Chilton, in the women’s 400-metre race, and Ben Tjernagel, in the 100, 200 and 4x100m relay.
“(Tjernagel) has worked hard and I expect him to do well, although he wasn’t happy with his time at (regionals),” McMaster said.
Chilton, who topped the regional 400m event with a time of 1:01.34, has twice been the final cut before the provincial finals.
Some of the other potential medal threats are Gr. 10 Noah Clarke, in the 800m, Gr. 11 Grace Fetherstonhaugh, in three separate distance events, pole vaulter Finnley Cookson and Matthew Dheilly-Sturrock, who will be throwing shotput, discus and hammerthrow.
Fetherstonhaugh won the regional 1500m, 3000m and steeplechase events last week in convincing fashion, with the nearest rival in any race 18 seconds back. A year ago, she won the provincial junior leg of the steeplechase and 3000m.
MacMaster said its a good year for the school, track-wise, no matter the medal count.
“Last year we took 15, and this kind of success filters down the line.”
Here are New Westminster Top-3 results from the zone competition: GIRLS, Gr. 8 - Lauren Black, GLE, 3rd 400m; Ella Foster, GLE, 2nd 200m, LJ; Anja Tjernagel, GLE, 1st 100m. Junior - Emma Dolman, NWS, 2nd 80m-h, 3rd 200m; Kaitlyn Hanger, NWS, 1st HJ, 2nd HT, 3rd SP; Kendall Holloway, GLE, 3rd HT; Natalie Klassen, GLE, 3rd 1500 RW; Keona Lighthall, NWS, 1st 1500 RW; Lauryn Savela, NWS, 1st jav. Senior - Brianna Bates, NWS, 1st jav; Emily Chilton, NWS, 1st 400m; Grace Fetherstonhaugh, NWS, 1st 1500, 3000m, 1500 steeple; Ellery Hardy, NWS, 2nd 800m.
BOYS, Gr. 8 - Willem Barnard, GLE, 3rd 200m-h; Mike Bibay, FRA, 2nd LJ; Andros Dancey, GLE, 1st 200m-h, LJ; Vishaan Narayan, GLE, 1st SP, jav, 2nd disc; Jack Poelzer, GLE, 2nd 100m-h. Junior - Joshua Alfonso, NWS, 3rd 1500 steeple; Jeremy Belcher, NWS, 1st 300m-h, TJ, 3rd LJ; Gavin Fan, NWS, 3rd 400m; Ryan Jensen, NWS, 1st 100m-h, 2nd 300m-h; Max Jones, NWS, 1st PV; Adam Shuja, NWS, 2nd HT; Owen Stark, NWS, 1st SP. Senior - Noah Clark, NWS, 2nd 800m; Finnley Cookson, NWS, 1st PV; Matthew Dheilly-Sturrock, NWS, 1st SP, disc, 3rd jav; Josh Filafilo, NWS, 2nd 110m-h; Ben Tjernagel, NWS, 1st 100, 200m;