With temperatures pushing the 30 °C mark, conditions weren’t precisely to Taryn O’Neill’s liking.
Still, the heat wasn’t nearly oppressive enough to prevent the 17-year-old Lake Country athlete from setting two new records at the Okanagan Zone high school track and field championships Tuesday in Kamloops.
O’Neill set a new mark in the 1,500 with a time of 4:32.97, breaking the old standard of 4:36.6, set two decades ago by hercoach and former Olympian, Malindi Elmore.
The George Elliot senior also posted a new valley standard in the senior girls 3,000 metres with a clocking of nine minutes 37.75 seconds, bettering the previous mark by Vernon’s Hannah Bennison by more than five seconds.
“That was my plan going in, I has my eyes on those records,” said O’Neill. “I knew they weren’t too far out of reach…not that it was easy, but I knew if I good runs, I could do it.”
“(The heat) was brutal,” she added, “I don’t run particularly well in that kind of weather, but it ended up being fine.”
O’Neill will look to close out her high school career with double gold at the upcoming B.C. high school championships in Langley.
O’Neill won silver for Canada last summer in the 3,000 at the Pan American U20 Championships in Peru and this July hopes to qualify for the World U20 Championships in Finland.
Triple gold winners…
• Kelowna Secondary School senior Bryn Walsh made three trips to the top of the podium at the zone championships. Walsh set a new senior girls record in 200 metres (25.6 seconds) and pole vault (3.40m) and also won the 100 metres.
• Emma Cannan, a Grade 9 student at Dr. Knox, won triple gold in the junior girls’ division, capturing the 100, 200 and 400 metres.
• Nolan Ulm of KSS earned gold in he junior boys 100, 200 and 400 metres.
• In the Grade 8 division, OKM’s Nolan Humphries was first in the 100 and 200 metres, and long jump.
Central Okanagan athletes winning two gold medals each were: Alexander Gross, OKM, senior boys 100 and 200 metres; Caeleb Schlacter, KLO, junior 100 and 300 hurdles; Jaxon Slaney, RSS, junior girls 800 and 1,500; Tatum Wade, OKM, Grade 8 boys 800 and 1,500 metres; James Harris, RSS, Grade 8 100 and 200 hurdles; Michael Jowsey, KLO, shot and discus; Elayna Glen, CNB, Grade 8 triple and long jump; and Michael Schriemer, KCS, Grade 8 boys 1,500 and 3,000.
The OKM Huskies senior boys set a new valley record in the 4 x 100 m relay in a time of 44.57.
It was just the second time this year that the foursome of Ziggy Burnett, Alex Gross, Brady McMechan and Alex Smith had run a relay together.
“They are thrilled to be representing OKM in what is, for three of them, their final year in B.C. high school sports,” said OKM track coach Michelle Stoski.
Among other highlights, the KSS junior boys team of Chris West, Jonathan Bender, Makafui Tettey and Nolan Ulm set a new valley mark in the 4 X 100 relay.
Ava Graf, a Grade 8 athlete from Dr. Knox set a new Okanagan record in the 3,000 metres.
The B.C. high school championships are set for May 31 to June 2 in Langley.
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