Vernon’s Sarah Bailey, a Fulton Maroon grad, leads the pack on her way to claiming the gold medal in the senior girls 800-metre race at the B.C. High School Track and Field Championships Saturday at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.

Vernon’s Sarah Bailey, a Fulton Maroon grad, leads the pack on her way to claiming the gold medal in the senior girls 800-metre race at the B.C. High School Track and Field Championships Saturday at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.

Bailey banks Burnaby gold

Sarah Bailey closed out her high school track career with a gold-medal performance in the 800-metre event at the B.C. Championships Saturday at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.

The Fulton grad, who will join the NCAA Division 1 Jacksonville Dolphins next season, clocked a personal best two minutes, 14.70 seconds to become the first Vernon athlete to win provincial gold in this event in the meet’s 45-year history.

“I led the whole race and the last 50-metre stretch I started to feel my legs get tired, but I was determined not to die on the final stretch,” said Bailey, who is now qualified to race at nationals, July 8-10 in Winnipeg.

“I knew in the race that I had to take it out fast because I didn’t want it to come down to a kicker’s race at the end, so I did for the first lap and by the end just took it in strong and no one had the kick to try and surge by me.”

Bailey, ranked No. 1 heading into the event, won her qualifying heat Friday with a 2:17.41.

“I ran that (qualifying) smart, not going too fast but still coming out with the fastest final in the semis,” she said.

Bailey, who also competes in the 1,500-m distance, chose to focus on one event.

“It felt awesome to end my high school season with a win and am very happy with my decision just to race the 800m,” she said.

In Grade 8 and 9 B.C. championship action in Burnaby, Tyra Gilbert of the Pleasant Valley Saints rated sixth overall in the 80-m hurdles after winning her qualifying heat.

Vernon Christian Royal student Alexandra Michalewicz placed 10th in shot put (7.99 m), and A.L. Fortune Falcons’ Kassy Harder struck silver in the discus (25.94 m).

In senior action, Pleasant Valley’s Ella Brown took 12th in the 200-m with 26.56, and ninth in the triple jump with 10.42 m.

VSS Panther Tessni Carruthers pocketed 11th in the 1,500-m (4:54.88), and 12th in the 3,000-m (10:49.89).

Vernon Morning Star