It was two days full of personal bests for six Ocean Athletics athletes – “a small but mighty little group,” said coach Lynn Kanuka – at the prestigious Oregon Relays last weekend.
Competing at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. against some of the best high school and college track and field stars in the Pacific Northwest, the team was led by Jack Williams, whose impressive win the 1,500-m was one of the meet’s highlights.
In the high school boys race, Williams edged top Oregon high-schooler Matthew Melancom and fellow Peninsula runner, White Rock Christian Academy’s Sean Keane, finishing in three minutes, 59.83 seconds.
Williams used a late kick over the last 250 metres to distance himself from the other two runners.
Keane – who had a full-ride scholarship next year to the University of Kentucky – finished third, in a time of 4:02.2.
Kanuka, Williams’ mother, described her son’s late push as “a fantastic kick… (he) literally buried the field in the last 250.”
Williams’ sub-four-minute time was second on Ocean Athletics’ all-time list, behind only Luc Bruchet, who now runs at UBC.
Jake Bruchet also had a strong weekend in Eugene, with a fifth-place finish in the 3,000-m and a seventh-place finish in the 1,500. His times in both races were personal bests.
In a strong field, Peggy Noel surged over the last 300 metres of the high school girls’ 1,500-m race to finish fourth in a time of 4:44.25. Teammate Reta Dobie, a Grade 10 runner, finished the same race in 5:11.46 – her best time of the 2011 season.
Alison Williams also scored a top-five finish in the high school portion of the meet, finishing fourth in the girls’ 800-m with a season-best time of 2:17.08.
In field events, Ocean Athletics’ Ryan Sommer, an Elgin Park student, finished sixth in both hammer throw and shotput, but his most impressive performance, according to Kanuka, came in the discus, where Sommer threw a personal best distance of 48.56 m.