You can give a teenager sunscreen — but you can’t make him put it on. That was one lesson learned at the District #33 secondary track and field meet at Sardis Secondary on Wednesday Apr. 20.
Unseasonably hot weather pushed people into the shade between events but the sun seemed to pick on the fairest-skinned Hope Secondary athletes when they dared to step out of the shadows.
“After multiple reminders to put on sunscreen, some got burned to a crisp,” said coach Jason Fisher, who needed lots of protection while in charge of the discus station for most of the day.
Coaches from the various upper-valley schools helped out by taking charge of events including track races, high and long jump, javelin, discus and hammer throw. Only the pole vault, hurdles, and steeplechase were missing from the standard list.
The annual gathering is meant to give young athletes experience in a competitive environment, in preparation for bigger meets in the coming months.
Each student could enter up to three events. Ribbons were given to the top-placed finishers but results were not gathered for publication.
Sixteen of Hope’s team of 21 travelled to the meet, picking up 18 athletes from Agassiz on the way to reduce busing costs.
The 1500-metre race-walk was one of the first events of the day and grade 10 classmates Maritza Botha and Sequel Adamson earned a one-two finish.
Botha also showed well in the long jump and hammer throw.
The school’s best result came from Jarek Inancsi, who is recovering from a broken leg he suffered in hockey. Inancsi earned first place in the discus, shot put and 200 m sprint, to win the senior boys’ aggregate. Fisher is taking six of his team to a meet in Kamloops this Saturday and the Upper Fraser Valleys take place on May 4 and 5 in Abbotsford.
“You have to place in the top 12 there, to go on to the Fraser Valleys, May 16, 17 and 19 in Coquitlam,” said the coach. “From there, the top eight go on to the provincials, which are in Nanaimo this year for the first time.
“Jarek has his best chance in the shot put. I think he threw 10.72 meters at Sardis,” said Fisher. “Jeremiah Steberl will almost 100 per cent go to the provincials, in pole vault — and Jordan Gauthier has a shot in junior hammer throw. Maritza has an outside chance in junior hammer — and Rachel Utz in junior discus. We also have Manee Warren, who couldn’t attend the Sardis meet, who has an outside chance in the 2000-metre steeplechase.”
Until then, it’s practice, practice, practice.