Yale Secondary runner Chantel Desch was the top Abbotsford performer at the B.C. High School Track and Field Championships held on Friday and Saturday at Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium.
Desch took bronze medals in both the 400m and 200m races. She was the only local to medal, and her Yale track coach Trevor Wight said she is the first girl from the school to earn a podium finish in at least a decade.
Desch has been recruited to run for the Simon Fraser University Clan track team next season. Track guru Gerry Swan of the Valley Royals track and field club predicts the best is yet to come for Desch.
“She’s quite a good athlete, and she hasn’t really hit her stride yet,” he said. “As she matures, she’s going to go faster.”
He watched a pair of other Royals girls from Abbotsford schools who were in the hunt for provincial medals, and predicts they will get them next year.
W.J. Mouat’s Hailey Gibson was sitting in third place after the preliminary races in the women’s 100m dash. In the final she finished fourth, just 0.03 seconds behind the bronze medalist.
“I thought she was third as I watched the race, but the camera said different,” said Swan.
Gibson is just in Grade 10, so she has two more years of high school competition to chase a sprint championship.
Mouat distance runner Alex Siemens finished fifth in the women’s 3000m race and sixth in the 1500m. A Grade 11er, she also gets another year of training to improve her speed.
Daniel Saathof of Abbotsford Christian was sixth in the javelin, Spencer Spenst of Mouat was sixth in pole vault and Manpreet Grewal of Abbotsford Collegiate was fifth in the women’s discus.