Nanaimo track and field athletes earned podium finishes at the first Americas Masters Games.
Nine members of the Nanaimo Track and Field Club medalled at the event, held in Vancouver from Aug. 26-Sept. 4.
“All Nanaimo athletes took pride in competing, doing their very best and working hard to stay healthy and young, in the true spirit of masters sports,” noted a club press release.
One of the most noteworthy performances of the meet was put forth by Nanoose Bay’s Joe Giegerich, who competed in his first-ever decathlon at age 84 and won with 3,414 points. He posted season-best results in five of the 10 disciplines.
“I knew I wasn’t going to break any records, but the challenge for me was to enter and finish each one of the … 10 events,” Giegerich said.
He even managed to compete in pole vault the day after the decathlon ended and placed second.
Two of the club’s most decorated athletes at the Games were Nola Hendrie and Sandie Bissessur. Hendrie won gold in the pole vault, hammer throw and 80-metre hurdles to go with silver in discus and bronze in long jump. Bissessur won gold in the 800m and 400m and took bronze in both the 100m dash and the 200m. She got the opportunity to represent Canada on the 4x100m relay team that won gold in one minute, 7.32 seconds, a Canadian record for the age group.
Jess Brewer set a B.C. record in the 80m hurdles with a time of 15.90 seconds to win gold, and added gold in the 300m hurdles and helped set a Canadian record in the 4x400m relay.
Terry Riggins won gold in the half marathon in 1:45:36, and also won gold in the 1,500m.
Sven Donaldson won pole vault with a 2.60m leap and also got a gold in the 4x100m relay, silver in the decathlon and bronze in high jump.
Phillip Vannini won gold in shot put and another gold in discus with a personal best of 38.22m.
Esteban Moreno took gold in the 110m and 400m hurdles to go with bronze in the 200m and 400m.
Dave Munro came second in the 100m dash.