Three qathet region athletes from Brooks Secondary School posted strong results at the BC Summer Games, which recently concluded in Prince George.
According to coach Scott Glaspey, competitors from the Brooks team participated in the athletic event.
“They came home with six medals,” said Glaspey. “We had a couple of grade eights and a grade nine. It’s essentially a grade eight and nine competition. Grade eights are at a bit of a disadvantage, obviously, but our two grade eights still came home with medals.
Grade nine student Ethan Hull medalled in four events. Competing in the 300-metre hurdles, Hull won silver, running to a personal best. In the 100-metre hurdles, he won bronze with a personal best, and in the triple jump, he won bronze with a personal best. Glaspey said he missed getting a silver medal by a centimetre. Hull was selected to start the four by 400-metre relay. His team won silver.
According to his father Matt, Ethan has been in track and field since grade four, and this is his first year running hurdles and competing in triple jump.
Anna Carlson ran two events, according to Glaspey; she placed sixth in hurdles, with a personal best, and won a bronze medal in the triple jump.
“She’s kind of a brand new athlete,” said Glaspey. “This is pretty cool for someone who has just started. She had only two previous meets before the games. With another couple of meets, she would very likely lower her time by half a second and be close to medalling.”
He said the other grade eight competitor was Nelle Liefsoens, who won a silver medal in the 2,000-metre race. Glaspey said Liefsoens ran a couple of other events but did not medal in them.
“She did well for a grade eight,” said Glaspey. “It’s not bad for the three kids.”
School-age track and field is taking place at the school level currently, said Glaspey. The Powell River Track and Field Club is “kind of defunct” right now, he added.
“For whatever reason, COVID-19 took a big bite out of a whole bunch of sports, including that particular club,” said Glaspey. “We’ve been concentrating on track and field events with the Brooks students.”
Glaspey said the three local competitors had to qualify for the BC Summer Games at a meet in Nanaimo earlier this year. He said they had to come first or second in their events to advance to the games.
“I’d say it’s brilliant the way it worked out,” said Glaspey. “When you get personal bests and medals, it’s hard to quibble with that.”
He said the competitors trained hard and sometimes made breakthroughs in the middle of the season.
“That’s happened with a couple of these kids and in particular, Ethan,” said Glaspey. “He was looking okay, and he had about four meets, and in every single meet, he got better by a substantial amount. Then, he ended up with a silver medal in the 300-metre hurdles in the BC High School Championships, which is brilliant.
“Some kids do that. They just get better and better.”
Glaspey said during this past season, COVID-19 was still lurking, and so for a variety of reasons, there weren’t many early track and field meets. He said competition is needed to get better.
“We just didn’t have enough of it because COVID wiped out at least one of our meets early,” he added. “We were afraid to go to the United States. We were going to take a group of kids to the states, but the quarantine thing was on.
“For a variety of reasons, we missed early meets but still finished strong.”
Glaspey said the athletes trained three to four times a week in preparation for the summer games. He said there were three coaches: himself, Connie Polman Tuin and Tyler Bartfai, who each took a day to work with the athletes.
“The three of us split the duties once school was out,” added Glaspey.
He said the competitive season has come to a close for the summer.