Fighting off extreme heat, not to mention some of Canada’s top young track-and-field talent, a trio of Semiahmoo Peninsula athletes climbed atop the podium on the Prairies last week, at Canada Legion Track and Field Championships in Brandon, Man.
Representing B.C., Tyler Wilson and Ryan Pederson each won a gold medal, while Emma de Boer snagged a silver medal. All three are members of South Surrey-based Ocean Athletics Track and Field Club.
Wilson, competing in the under-18 boys division, won his gold in the 3,000-m racewalk, clocking a time of 14 minutes, 10.36 seconds – more than 17 seconds faster than silver medallist Johnny Tse of Vancouver.
Success at Legions is nothing new for Wilson, who won same race last year, in the U16 division.
Meanwhile, Pederson, also competing at the U18 level, finished first in long jump, with a meet-best leap of 6.93 metres, which was more than enough to edge second-place finisher Shaidan Gabaud of Quebec, who finished at 6.76 m.
De Boer’s podium finish came in the U16 girls high jump – she won a silver medal with a new personal best jump of 1.70 m. Competing in temperatures that reached 40 C on Sunday, the South Surrey teenager’s best jump was equal to the score of gold medallist Lara Denbow of Neepawa, Man., but the latter was deemed the champion because she had fewer missed jumps en route to clearing the bar at 1.70 m.
A handful of other Ocean Athletics members also took part in the Manitoba meet last week, with excellent results.
Olivia van Ryswyk was fourth in the U18 girls pole vault; Maya Kobylanski was fourth in the U18 girls 2,000-m steeplechase; Aneel Gillian was fifth in the U16 boys decathlon – last year, he placed fourth in the Legion’s pentathlon; Adam Pederson was fourth in U16 boys 100-m hurdles and also fourth as part of B.C.’s 4×100 relay team; Ryan Denman was eighth in U18 long jump; Roy Jiang had two top-20 finishes at the U16 level – in 100-m and 200-m – and Cayla Smith finished ninth in U18 400-m and 14th in the 400-m hurdles.