A pair of Dr. Knox Middle School speedsters were among five Central Okanagan athletes earning individual gold medals at the 50th annual B.C. High School Track and Field Championships in Langley on the weekend.
Grade 8 Falcon Emma Cannan led the provincial first-place contingent from the Kelowna area with two gold medals — in the 200- and 400-metres — while adding a silver in the 100-metre dash.
Cannan, earning a berth in the provincial meet by winning the Okanagan Valley Grade 8 titles in all three sprints, claimed the provincial crown in the 200 metres with a personal-best time of 25.72 after finishing second among 19 runners in the preliminary heats.
The only competitor among 24 in the 400-metre preliminaries (PB - 58.19 seconds) to run under the one-minute mark, Cannan went on to lead the eight-girl field in the final with a clocking of 59.16. In the 100-metre final, the 13-year-old Okanagan Athletics Club member, who also plays hockey with the Kelowna bantam rep team, was edged out by Ange Kengni of Archbishop Carney (Port Coquitlam), who posted a time of 12.74 seconds. Cannan was second in 12.76.
Dr. Knox teammate, Lindsay Maier, added to the Falcons’ medal haul by winning the junior 300-metre hurdles event. After placing second among 27 competitors in the preliminaries with a time of 46.94 seconds, Maier led the field of eight finalists in a personal-best clocking of 45.50 seconds. Madelyn Hettinga of the Kelowna Christian School Knights ran and hurdled to the silver in 45.60 seconds.
Maier also reached the final of the junior 400-metre event, finishing in fifth place in a time of 59.55 seconds after placing second among 28 runners in the prelims with a personal-best clocking of 58.95.
The junior division also saw Mt. Boucherie Bears’ Noah Russell hurdle to a pair of medals. He won the 300-metre hurdles in a time of 41.04 seconds after posting the second-best qualifying time (42.74) among 28 athletes.
Russell, who competed at the B.C. Summer Games in 2016, finished second among 30 hurdlers in the 100-metre heats and went on the claim the silver in the eight-man final with a time of 14.32 seconds.
Okanagan Mission Huskies’ Muriel Stroda joined the Kelowna-area’s gold-medal contingent by winning the junior girls’ 80-metre hurdles event in 12.18 seconds. The win came on the heels of a second-place finish among 29 competitors in the preliminaries (12.78).
Kelowna Secondary’s Kenaysha Lyder led the junior girls field in the 100 metres with a time of 12.68 seconds. She had earned a berth in the final with the best qualifying time (12.96) among the 28 athletes in the preliminaries.
Lyder also played a significant part in the KSS senior girls team running away with the gold in the 4x100 relay in a time of 49.78 seconds. She anchored the Owls’ entry that included Zoe Bown, Madison McKinley and Bryn Walsh. The foursome had teamed up to post the best time (50.29) among 26 teams in the heats.
Walsh rounded out the Central Okanagan’s gold-medal performances by winning the senior pole vault with a personal-best height of 2.95 metres
George Elliot Secondary’s Taryn O’Neill ran to a pair of silver medals at McLeod Athletic Park. She finished second to national triathlon phenom Desirae Ridenour of Cowichan Secondary School in both the senior 1,500-metre and 3,000-metre events.
O’Neill’s time of 4:30.09 in the 1,500 bettered the clocking of her coach Malindi Elmore (2004 Olympian) in her three straight provincial high school gold-medal victories in 1996 (4:33.27), 1997 (4:36.00) and 1998 (4:34.00).
A second-place finish in the 3,000 metres saw O’Neill (9:44.55) being edged by Ridenour (9:44.16) down the stretch.
Another silver-medal effort came from OKM’s Camden Elkin, whose triple jump of 11.71 metres earned him second place among 24 competitors. Elkin finished in fifth place (5.38 metres) among 20 athletes in the long jump.
Meanwhile, two Central Okanagan athletes brought home provincial bronze medals. Nick Cornell of the KSS Owls finished third among 28 competitors in the senior hammer throw with a heave of 46.71 metres. Anna Dewynter of the KLO Cougars earned her bronze with a throw of 30.79 metres in 22-athlete javelin field.
Other outstanding performances among Kelowna-area athletes:
Ella Rolleston - Okanagan Mission - 1,500 metres - sixth - 5:03.70
Isaac Athans - KLO - triple jump - fifth - 11.96.
Bryn Walsh - KSS - 100 metres - fourth - 12.31
Bryn Walsh - KSS - 200 metres - sixth - 25.89
Phoebe Price-Roberts - Aberdeen - shot put - fifth - 9.82
Phoebe Price-Roberts - Aberdeen - discus - fifth - 32.13
Phoebe Price-Roberts - Aberdeen - hammer -fifth - 43.91
Owen Harris - OKM - 2,000 steeple - sixth - 6:16.97
Cam Noble - OKM - pole vault - sixth - 3.15
Cam Noble - OKM - long jump - ninth - 6.19
Dawson Swendsied - OKM - long jump - 10th - 6.18