Track athletes enjoy outstanding year

The past season was an incredibly successful one for the Nanaimo Track and Field Club.

Thanks to a happy combination of talented athletes and dedicated volunteer coaches and organizers, the past season was an incredibly successful one for the Nanaimo Track and Field Club.

At the club’s annual awards banquet held recently, NTFC was awarded aggregate trophies for top boys’ and top girls’ performances on Vancouver Island, and was named as the top track club on the Island.

In the words of club president Tyler Heisterman, “This has just been an outstanding year for our athletes.  We sent nine kids to the B.C. Summer Games, we had kids become provincial champions, set records, and compete on the national level.  It’s been really exciting to watch them perform throughout the track and cross country seasons.”

Those top athletes were honoured at the banquet, and my thanks goes to Terri Doughty of the club for passing along information on the various award winners and their accomplishments.

Named as outstanding tyke girl was Carly Dickenson, who was the B.C. Hershey champion in 400 metre.  Outstanding tyke boy, and outstanding male field athlete, was Ethan Katzberg.

Katzberg was the B.C. Junior Development javelin champion, recording the all-time second longest distance in the event.

Madison Heisterman was the club’s outstanding peewee girl, and the outstanding athlete at the NTFC Meet.

She was the B.C. Junior Development champion in 800m, 1200m, and relay, the Hershey North American champion in 800m, and also set a provincial record in 1,200m.

Outstanding peewee boy was Nate Seaman. Seaman was the B.C. J.D. champion in 600m and 1,000m, and the Hershey B.C. champion in 800m.

The club’s outstanding bantam girl, and outstanding female field athlete, was Rachel Jerome. On the year, Jerome was a B.C. age group champion in long jump, was ranked first in B.C. for Girls 14 triple jump, and was a bronze medalist at the B.C. Summer Games in long and triple jump events.

Joint winners of the outstanding bantam boy honours were teammates Josh Bailey and Carter Higgins.  Bailey was a provincial age group champion in 1,200m, won provincial bronze in 800m, and a B.C. Summer Games bronze in 2,000m.

Higgins was a provincial age group champ in 800m, won a Hershey North American final bronze in 800m, and claimed a B.C. Summer Games silver in the 4x400m relay.

Chosen as outstanding midget girl, and also outstanding female track athlete, was Jenaya Pynn. Her accomplishments included being ranked No. 1 in B.C. for 800m, provincial 800m champion, B.C. Summer Games 800m champion, selected to the B.C. Legions track team, and placing fourth in 800m at the Canadian Youth Championships.

Winner for outstanding midget boy was Charlie Andrews, who took bronze in the B.C. Championships 100m, was fourth in B.C. Summer Games 100m, and earned gold in B.C. Games 4x100m relay.

Named as outstanding youth girl was Jade Hoang, who had a top time at the Garriock Meet in Duncan.  The club’s outstanding youth boy, as well as being outstanding male track athlete and outstanding male off-track runner, was Joel Deschiffart.

Deschiffart was a B.C. silver medalist in 1,500m, B.C. bronze medalist in 3,000m steeplechase, and ranked sixth in Canada in 2,000m steeplechase and ninth in Canada in 3,000m steeplechase.

In cross country season he won silver at the provincial championships and was selected to the provincial team.

Taking the award as NTFC outstanding masters woman was Patti Rogers, who was the B.C. Senior Games champion in 100m, 300m and 400m.  Outstanding masters man was Joe Geigrich.  At the B.C. Seniors Games, Geigrich won gold in 80m, pole vault, and long jump, and took silver in triple jump, high jump, and javelin.

Other club awards saw Kaitlyn Watson named as most improved female athlete, and Sean Miller as most improved male athlete.

Sportsmanship awards went to Amy Morris and Jason Clare.

Chosen as outstanding female off-track runner was Marita Deschiffart, who won bronze as the B.C. High School Championships.

Katelynne Ramage was chosen as outstanding open female athlete.

Ramage was ranked No. 1 in Canada in five-kilometre and 10k race walk, was Canadian junior 10k race walk champ, and selected to the Canadian team for the Canada-U.S. Dual Meet.

Erica Deschiffart was recognized for making the B.C cross country team, and NTFC coach Dave Morris was honoured with the 2012 President’s Trophy.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.