Royal City sends nine to Legion nationals

One last track meet presents a big opportunity to end the season with a bang.

For the Royal City Track and Field Club’s head coach Sean Dixon, it’s where all the past year’s work is put on display on a big stage.

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For four RCTFC members, the Legion Youth nationals, which kick off Aug. 12 in Brandon, Man., is where they can wave the B.C. flag and continue to deliver on the promise shown during the track season.

Isabella Brunoro, Jarrett Chong, Jenevieve Patry-Smith and Katie Stewart-Barnett each hit their respective qualifying standards to represent B.C. at the national meet, and now will line up against other elite competitors from across Canada.

“You have to work hard to make the Team B.C. standard,” said Dixon. “They have a very high standard to ensure anyone who qualifies is a strong top-five and likely podium contender.”

Brunoro, who attends Burnaby Mountain Secondary, will compete in the midget girls’ 1500-metre steeplechase, as will Stewart-Barnett. The St. Thomas More athlete will also challenge in the midget girls’ high jump.

Chong and Patry-Smith are both competing in their respective youth (Grade 12) javelin events.

“They’ve all come off strong provincial championships and (for the midget) B.C. Summer Games. All were top-flight there,” noted Dixon. “They’ve had a little bit of a breather but they are back at it, and if anything, are stronger heading into (the nationals).”

Brunoro picked up silver in the 1500m steeplechase at the B.C. Games, while Stewart-Barnett collected two gold and a bronze.

Although shy of Team B.C. standards, five other Royal City athletes are heading to Manitoba after reaching Legion times, distances or heights during the summer.

In the youth division, Jeremy Belcher (triple jump), Emma Dolman (400m hurdles) and Lauryn Savela (javelin) will be wearing club colours. Ella Foster and Ryan Goudron will compete in the midget division in pole vault and 1500m steeplechase, respectively.

“For me, the expectations for them is to work for a new personal best,” noted Dixon. “If we can push for faster times, higher heights and longer distances, that’s where you see growth.

“They’ve all hit new PBs along the way, so it’s already been a successful season.”

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