GREG SAKAKI/THE NEWS BULLETIN Nanaimo Track and Field Club athletes Graeme Corsan, front left, and Sullivan Berry run the 200-metre race on Sunday at Rotary Bowl Stadium during the club’s annual Elwood Wylie Memorial Track and Field Meet.

Nanaimo track meet attracts high-calibre competitors

Nearly 400 athletes from across B.C. took part in the Elwood Wylie Track and Field Meet May 24-25

Hundreds of athletes – including some international-calibre talent – took to the track and field stadium in Nanaimo this past weekend.

Nearly 400 athletes from across B.C. took part in the Elwood Wylie Track and Field Meet, held at Nanaimo’s Rotary Bowl on Saturday and Sunday. Despite a wet and cold Saturday and a windy Sunday – with headwinds slowing down sprinters and jumpers – the meet recorded stellar performances by home athletes and guests alike.

The top performances of the meet came in the throws. In the women’s discus throw 24-year-old Agnes Esser, hailing from McBride, B.C., topped the field with a 56.62-metre throw, close to her recent personal best of 58.69m, which is currently ranked 40th in the world.

Among the men, the most intense competition of the meet – and one of the best Nanaimo has ever seen – was the hammer throw. Canadian champion Adam Keenan took top spot in event with a 70.84m toss. 26-year-old Keenan is currently ranked No. 1 in Canada. Second in the national rankings and also runner-up at the Elwood Wylie meet was 22-year-old Sam Willett, with a throw of 62.36m, his second best of the year. Vik Gondara finished third with a best of 59.29m. Topping the U18 category in the hammer was Nanaimo Track and Field Club’s Ethan Katzberg. Currently ranked first in Canada in his age category, Katzberg won with a best of 63.42m with the 5kg hammer.

In the track events the best races of the day were the men’s 3,000m steeplechase and the 800m. In the steeplechase, brothers Tate and Zachary Wyatt prevailed with respective times of 9:25.57 and 9:32.39. In the 800m, Nanaimo’s Keaton Heisterman improved his personal best to 1:53.44 by winning the U18 race. His performance is the best in Canada in 2019 in his age category.

Nanaimo’s Olivia Lundman was the standout youth performer in girls’ track events. Competing in the U18 5,000m racewalk for only the second time, she improved her personal best by more than 30 seconds, finishing in 27:38.31, the second-best time in the country this year for a U18 athlete. Olivia’s younger sister, 13-year-old Annika, won the 1,500m racewalk just minutes before in 8:31.06.

Among the younger competitors at the meet, it was the 13-year-old Nanaimo girls who stood out, winning 14 out of 17 events. Hailey Martin topped the field in nine events (200m, 300m, 800m, 1200m, 80m hurdles, 200m hurdles, pole vault, long jump, triple jump). Katelyn Putz (2000m, shot put), Lydia Paris (high jump), Emma Cleaver (discus) and Annika Lundman won the rest.

-Nanaimo Track and Field Club/Submitted

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