For those involved with the Nanaimo Track and Field Club, every year is a tale of two seasons.
During the spring and summer months, club members practise at the Rotary Bowl facility for competition in running, jumping and throwing events. Then when the summer track season is over, the fall and winter months are devoted to training for cross country running.
Last summer’s track and field season was certainly a successful one for club athletes. Executive member Sherri Clare sends word that seven members met B.C. Athletics standards for an Award of Excellence.
To be honoured are Bryce Kosak for high jump, Jason Clare for triple jump, Charlie Andrews for the 300 metres, Alyssa Mousseau for 300m and 800m, Keaton Heisterman for 600m, Madison Heisterman for 600m and 1,000m and Jenaya Pynn for 300m. The presentations will be made at the B.C. Athletics annual banquet in Vancouver at the end of this month.
Also this past season, an impressive number of Nanaimo Track and Field Club athletes were selected to compete on provincial or national teams. Among them, Katelynn Ramage went to the Western Canada Summer Games where she placed first in the five-kilometre race walk and set a new Games record. Ramage also took part at a Canada/U.S. dual meet in Boston, placing third. Also at the Western Canada Summer Games was Veronica Luedke, who was fourth in 400m hurdles.
Marita DeSchiffart attended the Legion Canadian Youth Athletics Championships in Ottawa, placing first in 1,500m steeplechase and fourth in 1,200m. Erica DeSchiffart went to the Legions as well, finishing third in 2,000m and seventh in 1,200m. At the junior nationals, Jade Richardson was second in discus with a toss of 42.44m. Richardson also earned eighth place at the Pan American Juniors with a throw measuring 44.77m. Joel DeSchiffart attended the junior nationals, completing the 3,000m steeplechase in a time of 9:47.86.
Nanaimo athletes also performed well at the 2011 B.C. Track and Field Championships held last summer in Coquitlam for those aged 14 and over and in Kamloops for athletes aged nine to 13. Local competitors earned 22 gold medals, 19 silver and 12 bronze, as well as 112 top 10 finishes.
The provincial gold medalists from the Nanaimo Track and Field Club included Katelynn Ramage in the junior girls’ 5,000m race walk. At the midget girls’ level, gold medals were won by Erica DeSchiffart in 2,000m and Marita DeSchiffart in 1,500m steeplechase. For 13-year-old girls, Rachel Jerome brought home gold from triple jump, long jump and 200m. Alyssa Mousseau won gold in 300m and 800m and Amy Morris in 2,000m. As well, Jerome, Mousseau and Morris teamed with Madison Heisterman to claim gold in the sprint medley relay.
In provincial competition for 13-year-old boys, gold medals went to Nanaimo’s Bryce Kosak in 200m hurdles and Josh Bailey in 800m. Kosak and Bailey, along with Jason Clare and Carter Higgins, also raced to gold in the 4x100m relay.
For 12-year-old boys, Josh Mitchell was a gold medal winner in hammer throw. In the nine-year-old girls’ division, Makayla Mitchell took provincial gold in 800m race walk and shot put. For nine-year-old boys, gold medals went to Keaton Heisterman in 600m, 1,000m, shot put and high jump. And in competition for 11-year-old girls, Madison Heisterman won gold in 600m and 1,000m. Heisterman also set a B.C. record for her age competing in Victoria in the 800m with a time of 2:24:10. On top of that, she qualified for the Hershey’s Track and Field Games where she placed second in the 800m.
Now, Nanaimo Track and Field club athletes have switched their focus to cross country. Tyler Heisterman and Dave Morris are the main coaches involved. Practices are held on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. until noon starting from the Rotary Bowl and on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. for all athletes interested in cross country or middle-distance training.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.
Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.