BY IAN THORPE
So some warmer weather is finally upon us – just in time for track and field season.
Local secondary schools recently had athletes involved in north Island and Island championships. The Island high school track and field championships were held last week at Centennial Stadium in Victoria. In team standings, both the junior girls’ team from Nanaimo District Secondary and the senior girls’ squad from Dover Bay earned third-place finishes. Individual results saw a number of local entrants capture Island titles. Special congratulations go to Wellington Secondary’s Hassy Fashina-Bombata who won the girls’ 100-metre and 200m events and was named as top female track athlete at the Island meet.
Fashina-Bombata is also a member of the Nanaimo Track and Field Club. She was one of the many athletes honoured at a club awards night to recognized achievements from last season, named as outstanding female track athlete and also being a co-winner of the award for outstanding youth girl. The other co-winner as outstanding youth girl was Madison Heisterman.
Recognized as outstanding tyke athletes from last season were Haley Martin and Kynan Shurniak. Sonya Urbanowicz and Nate Paris were the club’s outstanding peewees. Outstanding bantams were Olivia Lundman and James Wakefield. Chosen as outstanding midget girl was Karly Dickenson, with Ben Toth the outstanding midget boy. The outstanding youth boy award went to Steen Rasmussen.
At the junior level, Alyssa Mousseau and Jason Clare were named most outstanding. In the masters’ category, Nola Hendrie and Sven Donaldson were recognized.
In other club awards, outstanding male track athlete of the year went to Paris. Jessica Katzberg was named as outstanding female field athlete, with Clare the outstanding male field athlete. Marina Andersen was selected as outstanding female off-track athlete and Jayden Watson was outstanding male off-track athlete. Avery Henderson was recognized as having been the outstanding athlete as the 2016 Nanaimo Track and Field Club Meet.
Madison Paugh and Ethan Katzberg were named most improved athletes. The female sportsmanship award was given to Hope Stewart and the male sportsmanship award went to Isaac Sandri.
Recipient of the President’s Trophy for her efforts on behalf of the club was Tracey Mousseau. A new award, the Erin Bell Award for the volunteer coach/official of the year was presented to Sue DeSchiffart.
Club president Tyler Heisterman also sends word that Nanaimo Track and Field Club was recognized at the B.C. Athletics banquet for the significant contributions the local club has made to track and field on Vancouver Island. The Nanaimo club was honoured with the Executive of the Year Award.
With the new season underway, this coming weekend is a big one for Nanaimo Track and Field Club athletes. This club is hosting its annual Elwood Wylie Meet, named in honour of the former club president who spearheaded the creation of the Rotary Bowl facility. The meet runs from Friday to Sunday (May 26-28), with competition happening all weekend long and spectators welcome.
Looking further ahead, NTFC athletes will be taking part in club meets in June and July. As well, some will be competing at the B.C. High School track and field championships June 1-3 in Langley.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.