BY IAN THORPE
During their off-season, sports organizations traditionally reflect back on the previous year, celebrate their successes, and then start to plan ahead for the coming campaign.
Such has been the case with the Nanaimo Track and Field Club. While the club’s cross-country runners do stay active during the fall and winter, most club members are involved primarily with the traditional spring and summer track and field season.
It is hardly a surprise that last year marked another highly successful season for NTFC. Numerous club athletes achieved a high level of success at meets around the province, and the club also inked a new partnership agreement with the City of Nanaimo for maintenance of the Rotary Bowl facility behind Nanaimo District Secondary School.
Many of the individuals who contributed to last seasonís success were honoured at the track club’s annual awards banquet and annual general meeting, held earlier this winter at the Nanaimo Yacht Club.
Recognized as the outstanding tyke (ages 9-10) athletes from last season were Ava Martiniuk and Hunter Shurniak. From the peewee (ages 11-12) division, Emma Kirk and Krescyn Moonsamy were most outstanding.
Bailey Rossnagel and Nate Paris were the outstanding bantam (age 13) athletes from the club, while Madison Paugh, Olivia Lundman and Ethan Katzberg shared the honours among midget (ages 14-15) athletes.
From the youth (ages 16-17) contingent, Jessica Katzberg and Steen Rasmussen were most outstanding. Outstanding juniors (ages 18-19) were Hassy Fashina-Bombata and Jason Clare. From the more experienced track club members, Patti Rogers and Joe Geigerich the club’s outstanding masters competitors.
In other awards presented at the AGM, Tim Hendrie received the NTFC Spirit of Masters Track Award. The most improved club athlete over the course of last season was judged to be Jake Putz. Special sportsmanship awards were presented to Makayla Mitchell and Ben Martin.
Fashina-Bombata was named as the club’s outstanding female track athlete, while Paris was the outstanding male track athlete. From field events, outstanding female field athlete was Jessica Katzberg and outstanding male field athlete was Ethan Katzberg.
Recognized as the NTFC outstanding off-track female athete was Madison Heisterman. Jayden Watson was picked as the outstanding off-track male athlete. Based on her performance, Sonya Urbanowicz was chosen as the outstanding athlete from the club meet hosted last summer.
Finally, the NTFC President’s Trophy for the 2017 season was presented to Cristi Lundman and the 2017 Erin Bell Volunteer Award was given to coach Mike Viers.
Election of officers for the 2018 season were also held at the annual general meeting, and registration for the coming track and field season is now underway. We’ll have details on those and other club news next week.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.