Hometown girl takes triple gold at the track
One of Nanaimo's hometown medal hopefuls came through with triple gold on the track.
Nanaimo Track and Field Club star Madison Heisterman won gold medals in the 800-metre, the 1,200m and the 4x400m relay at the B.C. Summer Games this weekend.
She's a provincial record holder and is used to winning meets, but the B.C. Games in her hometown were something a little different.
"It's definitely more intense, and seeing the beautiful medals before, you look at it and [think], 'Wow, I really hope I get one of those.'"
She won the 1,200 in a Games record time of three minutes, 37.35 seconds, four and a half seconds ahead of runner-up Taryn O'Neill of Zone 2. Heisterman anchored the Island's 4x400 relay team to a comfortable win in 4:07.59.
"We were pretty psyched as soon as we saw her coming around the corner. No one was really close," said teammate Tekarra Reierson. "We were jumping up and down and we were really excited because we won gold … It was just a really happy moment."
Having already ran a couple of races, Heisterman's legs were hurting. She ran, by her standards, a leisurely heat in the 800m to conserve energy and was a little unsure of how she would do in the final.
"But you get kind of intense and ready and it's the Summer Games, so you get pumped up," she said.
Her time of 2:14.49 was four and a half seconds better than the silver medallist, Megan Roxby of Zone 5, and it meant a third medal ceremony.
"When you're standing on the podium everyone's cheering for you from your zone and it's awesome," Heisterman said.
There were many other local track-and-field athletes who earned medals at the Games. Simon Morrison of Nanoose Bay won gold in the 4x400m relay and Hassy Fashina-Bombata took silver in the 200m in 25.82 seconds, bronze in the 100m dash in 12.69 and anchored the Zone 6 team to silver in the 4x100m, just 13/100ths of a second off gold-medal pace.
Locals finished one-two in the girls' 1,500m race walk, with Marina Andersen winning gold and Taylor Sayah taking silver.
The pole vault competition also yielded medals, with Dominic Boar winning the boys' competition with a 2.5m vault and Hope Stewart earning bronze among girls with a 2.3m leap.
In Special Olympics athletics, Ron Greenhorn and Simon Phipps won gold and silver, respectively, in the shot put and Phipps added two bronze medals in the 800m and the long jump.