By Sean Rooney on May 16, 2018.
Weather and mosquitos were already in mid-summer form at Tuesday’s city track and field championships.
The athletes? That depends who you ask.
With few competitors in most events to push each other, the focus was on building towards next Thursday’s South Zone finals and the high school provincial meet the week after that.
“It’s different not getting anyone to really push you at all,” said Hat High’s Rhiannon Ware. “Even at zones.”
“I have a teammate, Savannah (Zee), and this was the first time we’ve competed against each other since Grade 10. It’s not the same when there’s just two people on the track as opposed to eight.”
Well, Zee apparently pushed hard enough because Ware set the senior girls 80 metre hurdles Rotary Track record, hand-timed at 12.38 seconds. Zee was a half-second behind.
It was one of five track records broken Tuesday, not bad considering most of the marks are from when Medicine Hat hosted provincials in 2007.
For Ware, who’s also playing spring basketball, the city meet was important to get her tuned up for the last two weeks of her high school track career. For those who have experience at the club level, it was more like practice.
“It’s definitely a lot easier,” said McCoy’s Kiana Farrell, who won the 200 and 400 metre junior girls sprints, was second in open 300 hurdles behind Zee’s new track record of 49.24 seconds, and third in pole vault. “Kind of scary, but fun.”
Farrell’s worked with the Bulldogs club the past two years and was “hoping to get my technique and run fast.”
Multiple medal winners were numerous at the city meet, though first or second place was all that was required to advance to zones. Hat High dominated in terms of numbers and medals, led by Grade 12 Landon Swartz whose late birthday allows him to compete as an intermediate. He won the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 metre events and was part of the top 4×400 metre relay team.
“It’s amazing, this is the biggest year, we have (73) athletes,” said Swartz. “We’re looking for a repeat from last year.”
Hat High won the Alberta 4A banner in 2017, and will need as many athletes to qualify for the June 1-2 finals in Red Deer as they can if they want to keep it.
With so many distance events, Swartz just wanted to survive on a day the temperature got up past 30 Celsius and bugs were everywhere.
“I would say it almost wears you out more, because you’re just sitting out here all day, just lounging around waiting for your events to come,” he said.
Other track record-setters included Hat High’s Parker Davidson, who lowered his own record in the open boys 300 hurdles event to 43.55 seconds. He also took gold in the senior 100 metre hurdles and silver in the 400 metre dash.
Hat High’s Josh Suelzle set a Rotary Track record with a 12.59-metre shot put —eclipsing the old mark of 11.87 metres — then won the discus and javelin to boot in junior boys. Junior teammate Kyle Spackman ran the 100 hurdles in a hand-timed 13.72 seconds, a half-second better than the old mark.
School-by-school, each of the four in attendance had at least one athlete with a huge medal haul. For Crescent Heights it was Jane Canadine sweeping the 100, 200 and 400 metre intermediate girls sprints. Teammate Bethany Regier won the 800, 1,500 and 3,000, including the closest finish of the day when she beat McCoy’s Kassidy Rae by 0.35 seconds in the 800.
McCoy’s Madison Kane-Rissling unsurprisingly won every senior girls event she entered, including the 100 metre dash, long jump and triple jump.
Josh Howe of Hat High was the high jump, shot put, discus and javelin champion in intermediate boys. Other Hat High triple winners were Hannah Salmon (800, 1,500 and 3,000-metre junior girls distance runs), Eli Smith (junior boys 800, 1,500 and 3,000-metre runs), Brooklyn Kaczynski (intermediate girls hurdles, long jump and triple jump), Cassie Fischer (intermediate girls shot put, discus and javelin), Owen Mustard (senior boys 100 and 200 metre, long jump) and Cambria Rattai (intellectual girls 100 and 200 metre, shot put).
Eagle Butte’s Carmen Traichel won the junior girls 100 metre dash in 13.18 seconds, then leapt to a gold in long jump. Junior teammate Montana Wright also went double-gold, in junior girls shot put and javelin.
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