Track club athletes applauded for year

There is no doubt that this past season was another outstanding one for the Nanaimo Track and Field Club.

This past Saturday evening, it was my pleasure to attend the Nanaimo Track and Field Club’s annual awards banquet.

There is no doubt that this past season was another outstanding one for the local organization. NTFC has grown to become the fourth largest club in B.C., with over 200 members. That’s thanks in part to the leadership of club president Tyler Heisterman, a dedicated group of directors and coaches and a supportive parent group. Once again this year, the Nanaimo club 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.

Among the other awards was the naming of Carys Menard as outstanding tyke (9-10-year-old) girl. Outstanding tyke boy was Jayden Watson, who set a B.C. record for 10-year-old boys in 600 metres and 1,000m. Makayla Mitchell was the club’s outstanding peewee (11-12) girl, ranked No. 1 in B.C. in 800m race walk. Outstanding peewee boy was Ethan Katzberg, who got a bronze medal in hammer throw at the B.C. junior championships.

The club’s outstanding bantam (13) girl and boy respectively were Maria Johnson and Ben Toth. Outstanding midget (14-15) girl was Madison Heisterman, who earned three gold medals at the B.C. Summer Games and a national silver in 800m. Chosen as outstanding midget boy was Josiah Ano.

Named as outstanding youths (16-17) were Alyssa Mousseau, who was a B.C. high school 800m champion, among other achievements, and Jason Clare, a high school pole vault champion. Outstanding juniors (18-19) were Marita DeSchiffart, a high school champ in 1,500m, and Andrew Degroot. Recognized as the outstanding masters (40-plus) man and woman from the club were Tom and Nola Hendrie. Nola won gold at the B.C. Masters’ Championships, while Tom claimed gold medals at the B.C. Seniors Games.

NTFC’s outstanding track athlete awards went to Madison Heisterman and Josh Bailey. Taking home the award as outstanding field athletes were Rachel Jerome and Jason Clare.

Other club awards saw Hassy Fashina Bombata and Dominic Boar as most improved athletes. Sportsmanship awards went to Hope Stewart and Josh Mitchell.

Chosen as outstanding female off-track runner was Jenaya Pynn, who won silver at the B.C. Athletics Cross Country Championships. Sean Miller, fourth at the championships, was the outstanding male off-track runner.

Sharing the award for outstanding athlete at a Nanaimo Track and Field Club meet were Olivia Lundman and Cameron Martiniuk. Both athletes had many great performances at the Elwood Wylie Meet this year, including first in 800m for Lundman and first in long jump for Martiniuk.

In the final presentation of the evening, longtime NTFC director Sherri Clare was honoured with the President’s Trophy for her outstanding service to the club.

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