Dedicated high school athletes on the right track

Four poured the pedal to the floor to win the senior girls’ 4x100 relay at the provincial high school track and field championships in Langley. From left are: Casey Heyd, Nicole Lindsay, Taryn Smiley and Chicago Bains. - Drew Lindsay
Four poured the pedal to the floor to win the senior girls’ 4x100 relay at the provincial high school track and field championships in Langley. From left are: Casey Heyd, Nicole Lindsay, Taryn Smiley and Chicago Bains.
— image credit: Drew Lindsay

Nicole Lindsay hiked Mount Tzouhalem the day after the provincial high school track and field meet concluded in Langley.

Brother Liam was back at work at Coffee On The Moon.

Tuesday was a day off school in the Cowichan District as part of the teachers’ labour dispute, but dedicated athletes didn’t take the day off to lounge around. Many went for a training session with coach John May at the Cowichan Sportsplex.

“This is what amazes me a lot with this bunch of kids,’’ said May. “They’re willing to put in a crazy amount of work.’’

The dedication and the talent of the valley’s track and field elite clearly knows no bounds. The number of medalists at the provincials is proof of that.

Even the athletes who didn’t win medals were solid contenders and could very easily have reached the podium on another day.

The relay team of Casey Heyd, Nicole Lindsay, Chicago Bains and Taryn Smiley — representing Cowichan Secondary — ran away with the gold in a blistering 48.58 seconds. That beat the Kelsey team’s time of 48.68 two years ago, but fell just short of the provincial record of 48.48.

“All of our handoffs were perfect,’’ said Smiley. “We definitely had the most solid team.’’

Remarkably, none of the girls is in Grade 12. “We have next year to break the record,’’ said Smiley.

Despite only being in Grade 10, Bains enjoyed another golden moment in the senior girls’ 100 hurdles.

“It was only the fifth time she has ever run over the 33” height,’’ noted May, “and was only 0.30 seconds off the record set back in 1981 for the 33” height hurdles.

“It was a pretty amazing race she put together,’’ he added.

Back to Nicole Lindsay, her incredible results included a gold in the junior girls’ 200 and silver in the 400.

“I really surprised myself,’’ she said. “I didn’t think I was going to win the 200.’’

But her seed time was the best and she put it together again in the final.

“I’ve been right where I want to be and I’m injury free which is really nice,’’ she said.

And that Mount Tzouhalem climb just gave her another good cardio workout to come in handy later.

“It’s not just running straight down a track, it’s up and down,’’ she said.

Ben Williams of Cowichan was also a gold medalist in the junior boys’ triple jump and fourth in high jump.

“His experience is the only thing holding him back on the high,’’ said May.

Other results included a gold for Madison Heisterman of Queen Margaret’s School in the junior girls’ 1,500 and silver in the 800.

Sion Griffiths earned a gold in javelin for Grade 8 boys as well as a fourth for shot put, seventh for triple jump and 11th in high jump.

Liam Lindsay had a great meet with bronze medals in the senior boys’ long jump and 200, with a fourth in the 400.

“His 200 was amazing,’’ said May. “He was 20 metres from the finish line in sixth place. At the finish, he was third.’’

Lindsay managed personal bests in all three events. “For me, that’s the best thing,’’ he said. “There’s nothing better than that.’’

His 400-metre run of 49.69 was also a highlight. “It’s kind of been my seasonal goal to go sub-50,’’ Lindsay said.

Simon Fraser University has an offer in the works for Lindsay.

Desirae Ridenour got into the medals with a bronze in the junior girls’ 3,000 and eighth in the 1,500.

Smiley also earned a bronze in the highly-competitive senior girls’ 100 and came fifth in the 200.

Tia Baker of Kelsey did well with a fifth in the senior 400, seventh in the 200 and 11th in the 100. She’s going to the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon) to join their varsity track team as their top incoming rookie sprinter on an athletic scholarship.

Denise Roy is an up-and-comer with an eighth in the junior girls’ 100 and ninth in the 200 sprint.

Heyd added a ninth in the junior 100 and 18th in the 200.

Results for Kelsey Grade 8s included: Katie Farley, seventh 3,000; Jace Hilton, ninth 100; and Tyler Leech, 10th javelin.

Abby Wadsworth of QMS placed 10th with a personal best and Mikayla Cook of Duncan Christian 21st in the senior girls’ long jump.

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