The New Westminster Secondary girls put on a show at the Burnaby-New Westminster-Richmond zone track and field championships.
Emily Chilton and Nina Schultz notched two golds apiece in the senior division, and joined forces with Grade 10 Grace Fetherstonhaugh and Ellery Hardy to add the women’s 4x400-metre relay, as the Hyacks girls placed second-overall among 21 schools in competition.
Chilton, a Grade 11, topped the 400m race in a time of 1:00.8, two seconds ahead of her Richmond rival, then picked up the 800m title with a 2:30.70 time.
Schultz, who as a senior has already collected 13 provincial medals over the past three years, won the senior girls high jump, with a strong 1.78m jump, and the long jump, at 5.93m -- a full metre ahead of her nearest rival.
“(Chilton) is seeded seventh in the province in the 400m, and she’s already competed at the senior level the past two years in relays, winning three golds, so she’s kind of got rid of any jitters,” said New Westminster coach Bryan McMaster.
“Nina is focusing on the heptathlon and is ranked 11th in the world at the youth level, so she definitely is in elite company,” he added.
As part of their 137.50 point total, the Hyacks girls team also got gold medal results from Fetherstonhaugh, who picked up comfortable wins in the junior women’s 1500m (5:01.40) and 3000m (10:07.50) races. Sarah Forgie collected the top distance in junior high jump, clearing 1.66m, while Brianna Bates posted a javeline throw of 37.86m to win the gold by a large margin.
Fetherstonaugh had already qualified for the B.C.s in the 1500m steeplechase, where she is the top seed.
“It’s her first year trying it,” said McMaster, “and she’s really taken to it. She has long legs and a strong stride. She’s just a machine.”
Earning a bronze medal were Ellery Hardy, who placed third in senior 800m, junior Michelle Li, in 3000m, Kaitlyn Hanger, in
junior high jump, and Grade 8 Emma Dolman, in 800m.
On the boys side, Matthew Dheilly-Sturrock stocked up on silver with second-place results in both the senior men’s shot put (10.17m) and javelin (38.74m). Ben Tjernagel would push Burnaby Central’s Nathan Mah in both the senior 100 and 200m dashes, crossing the finish line in 10.80 seconds and 22.10 seconds, respectively.
Finishing third in the senior 800m was Tim Wriglesworth.
McMaster said of the 30 or so athletes who competed at the district level, 15 have qualified for provincials.
Some of that growth is a result of the successes posted the past few years by sprinter Raquel Tjernagel, an NWSS alum and freshman at the University of Texas, and Schultz.
“We were hoping that the successes of Nina and Raquel had would create more interest and we’ve seen that,” said McMaster.
“(Schultz) would love to break the provincial record for heptathlon in her final year, and what she’s accomplished already you can’t dismiss it.”
The B.C. track and field combined events will be run May 27 and 28 in Surrey, while the majority of events will be held June 2 to 4 in Nanaimo.
Here are more New Westminster top-4 results: GIRLS, Gr. 8 - Emma Dolman, 3rd 800m. Junior - Brianna Bates, 1st jav; Grace Featherstonhaugh, 1st 1500m, 3000m; Sarah Forgie, 1st h/j; Kaitlyn Hanger, 3rd h/j; Michelle Li, 3rd 3000m; Devin Riding, 4th 200m. Senior - Emily Chilton, 1st 400m, 800m; Ellery Hardy, 3rd 800m; Nina Schultz, 1st h/j, l/j.
BOYS, Junior - Matthew Dheilly-Sturrock, 2nd s/p, jav; Gavin Fan, 4th 400m, 800m; Alex Hatch, 4th 1500m; Ben Tjernagel, 2nd 100m, 200m; Tim Wriglesworth, 3rd 800m.