The North Okanagan will be sending its fastest runners and highest jumpers to Nanaimo for the B.C. Summer Games, July 17-20.
Czarina Wisse, Rhys Larsen, Tyson Holgate, Trinity Hansma and Megan Loland make up five of the 25 athletes on the Zone 2 track and field team.
“This is a hard team to make. They are going to compete against kids there for years to come. Future Olympians will be there,” said Vernon track club coach Ian Cameron.
Loland comes from a family with deep track and field roots.
“My mom was in the (B.C.) Summer Games and she said it was really fun, so I wanted to go just like her,” said Loland.
Loland has never competed at an event such as this, but she will give her all in the 200- and 80-metre hurdles.
Loland also loves skiing, dancing, volleyball and basketball, but when one reporter asked why hurdles was her favourite, the answer was obvious.
“Because I’m fast,” grinned Loland.
Loland’s teammate, Wisse, is looking forward to meeting new faces at the Games.
“I can’t wait to meet a whole bunch of new people and see the top athletes and the techniques they use,” said Wisse, whose best event is the high jump
Wisse established a personal best 1.43m at the zone track meet in May. It probably doesn’t hurt to stand 5-foot-11.
“I love high jump because it is so different from all the other sports,” said Wisse.
She will also try her hand in the 200m.
Wisse attends VSS and plays basketball, but her favourite sport is ringette.
Holgate lives in Armstrong and will enter Grade 9 at Pleasant Valley next fall. He will be competing in long jump and the 300m in Nanaimo.
Holgate’s plate is full of sports. The young man plays basketball, tennis, volleyball, rugby and football. He is itching in anticipation for the Games to get underway.
“I’m just relieved that the Games are close because practices aren’t as intense as they were six months ago,” said Holgate.
Fellow Armstrong product Hansma picked up athletics during sports day in elementary a few years ago.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new people because everyone is so nice. It’s more about a competition against yourself than against other people,” said Hansma.
Added Cameron, “Trinity is very good for her age. This is just the beginning for her.”
Hansma, the middle child between two sisters, loves to get her hoop on. She plays the post and wing positions on the basketball hardwood.
She will be competing in the 100m and the high jump.
There will be more than 2,100 medals handed out at 90 medal presentation ceremonies.
There are sports venues in Nanaimo, Parksville and Duncan.