A dozen North Delta athletes will be making their way to Langley’s McLeod Athletic Park this weekend to compete in the B.C. high school track and field provincial championships.
Youth representing North Delta, Burnsview, Delview and Seaquam secondaries will join 2,500 other competitors from across the province as each strives for gold.
Among them will be 16-year-old Simran Bangar, who took first place in the junior girls shot put at the Fraser Valley regionals in May.
The Grade 10 North Delta Secondary student is also set to compete in the junior girls discus after making the cut in the open zone category, a sort of wild card entry that takes into account an athlete’s best result from any meet that season.
Bangar has found success at provincials in the past, coming in second place in 2015 and third place in 2016, both in shot put. After winning at regionals with a personal best of 11.34 metres, she said she likes her chances for 2017.
“Well, right now I’m ranked third, and the girl who threw ahead of me – that came in second – only threw a centimetre more than me. So if I can throw my goal, which is 11.50 metres, hopefully I can come in second.”
Bangar, who trains almost year-round and also competes with Universal Athletics Club in Surrey, said she plans on continuing with the sport after graduating from high school, adding her success isn’t what keeps her competing.
“When I started throwing…I guess I felt more powerful when I’m throwing, it gives me more energy and stuff. It felt better,” she said. “Every year I go back because I like the training and it keeps you fit. And I just enjoy throwing a lot, especially shot put.”
“It’d be cool if I made the Olympics, but it’s something where I’d just like to continue on my own.”
Harneet Gill, who is set to represent NDSS in the senior girls 800 metre and 1,500 metre races, echoed her teammate’s feelings about the sport being it’s own reward.
“You kind of get your mind off things and it’s just like you and you’re just in your own space and you’re just running,” Gill said. “All your worries are just gone and you’re just there, running.”
“I think track’s really become a part of my life now and I couldn’t see myself without it.”
Gill, who also trains outside of school with Ocean Athletics Track and Field Club in South Surrey, qualified for both of her events with personal best times recorded at Fraser Valley Regionals (2:30.11 in the 800 metre and 5:11.50 in the 1,500 metre).
For her, competition is more of internal struggle than an external one.
“I definitely notice [the other runners], but in the homestretch it’s kind of just you and trying to finish fast and get to the finish line,” Gill said. “It’s definitely nice to place higher up, but a lot of times I just want to get a personal best and just beat my time from last time.”
The 2017 B.C. high school track and field championships run Thursday, June 1 to Saturday, June 3rd at McLeod Athletic Park, located at 58 Avenue and 214 Street in the Township of Langley.
Other North Delta athletes competing at provincials:
• Robin Gill (Delview) – Grade 8 boys’ 400 metre 800 metre
• Dominic Luccock (Seaquam) – senior boys’ 400-metre hurdles, 110-metre hurdles, pole vault
• Hannah Milic (Seaquam) – junior girls’ 3,000 metre, 1,500 metre; women’s 1,500 metre steeplechase
• Brendan Luccock (Seaquam) – junior boys pole vault
• Tania Louise (Seaquam) – Grade 8 girls long jump, 80-metre hurdles
• Jake Procknow (Seaquam) – Grade 8 boys 400 metre, 4×100 relay
• Jackson Napier (Seaquam) – Grade 8 boys 100-metre hurdles, 4×100 relay
• Lucus Radstaak (Seaquam) – Grade 8 boys 4×100 relay
• Benji Munoz-Marte (Seaquam) – Grade 8 boys 4×100 relay
• Annze Vilenna (NDSS) – senior girls 400-metre hurdles
• Melissa Stevens (Burnsview) – Grade 8 girls 800 metre