VIDEO: Liam Lindsay athlete spotlight #CowichanValley #LongJump #TripleJump

September 10, 2013

By Don Bodger – September 8, 2013 

COWICHAN NEWS LEADER PICTORIAL – Liam Lindsay jumped into the track and field circuit in a big way in 2013. Lindsay, 17, a Grade 12 Cowichan Secondary School student, just missed a medal in fourth place for the triple jump at the Legion national youth meet and finished 10th in the long jump.

“It was different and it was one of the biggest things I’ve ever done,’’ he said of the meet last month in Langley. “There’s also a certain amount of pressure representing Team B.C., but I think overall it was a great experience.’’

Nursing a leg injury along the way created an extra challenge.

“Triple jump, it was tough being able to train but being able to stay healthy as well,’’ Lindsay said. “I had some coaches helping me do that and worked my way through it and did as best as I could.’’

Lindsay’s personal best in the triple jump is 13.28 metres from the Team B.C. qualifying meet in Kamloops this year.

His 6.25 metre personal best in the long jump came during the provincial high school meet in Langley.

“I’m looking to start training full seasons starting in September and do some ground work and strength training before we move on to technique later in the season,’’ Lindsay said.



NorWesters sail to gold at Youth Track Nationals #LegionNationals @NorthShoreNews

September 9, 2013


Emma Rastad of the NorWesters Track and Field Club leaps into first place in U16 long jump at the Legion National Youth Championships held in August in Langley. (Photograph by: supplied)

September 4, 2013 – by Andy Prest 

NORTH SHORE NEWS – A pair of long jumpers led the way as four athletes from the North Shore’s NorWesters Track and Field Club took home medals at the Legion National Youth Championships held last month in Langley.

Emma Rastad won gold in the girls U16 long jump with a leap of 5.61 metres while Diana Voloshin claimed the girls U18 long jump with a 5.56 m attempt.

James Elson won a pair of medals, finishing second in boys U18 high jump after clearing 2.01 m and earning bronze in triple jump with a leap of 13.42 m. Nima Parsakish rounded out the medal haul with a silver medal showing in the boys U16 1,500-m racewalk, clocking a time of 9:41.47. Kate Weaver placed fourth in girls U18 heptathlon.

Full article:

Sprinter wins gold at Legion track and field nationals #LegionNationals @BurnabyNOW_News

August 16, 2013

By Tom Berridge – August 14, 2013

BURNABY NOW NEWS – Burnaby sprinter Zion Corrales-Nelson took home three gold medals from the 2013 Legion Canadian youth track and field championships in Langley last weekend.

The junior St. Thomas More student won both the under-16 girls’ 100 and 200 metre sprints, while also anchoring Team B.C.’s 4x100m relay team to gold in the open event at McLeod Park in Langley.

Corrales-Nelson was favoured in the 100m dash and won in a time of 12.12 seconds, over runner-up Gracia Muamba of Alberta.

The Burnaby Strider club runner added the 200m gold to her mantel with a race-winning time of 24.53 over silver medallist Kyra Constantine of Ontario.

In the relay, New Westminster’s Nina Schultz shared the gold with Corrales-Nelson as B.C. won easily, breaking the tape at 47.69, nearly three seconds ahead of second-place Alberta.

In the under-18 division, New Westminster’s Mihailo Stefanovic won both hurdle events, placing first in the 110 and 300m races.

In the hurdle sprint, Stefanovic clocked a winning time of 14.49, while schoolmate and New West Spartans club runner, Bogdan Pavel, placed third two-tenths of a second behind.

In the 300m, Stefanovic beat Matthew Bedard of Ottawa by more than twotenths of a second, clocking a gold-medal time of 38.31 in the race.

Stefanovic also teamed with Ethan Strome of New Westminster for a fifthplace finish in the 4x400m relay.

Stefanovic and Strome also competed for B.C. in the 4x100m relay, but the team did not finish in the open final.

Burnaby’s Ahmad Nizamani helped the Vancouver Thunderbirds club to a fifth place in the u-18 boys’ 4x100m club relay event.

File Photo, Burnaby Now / Track star: Zion Corrales-Nelson of Burnaby, seen here at the B.C. high school championships, won three gold medals at the Legion national meet in Langley last weekend.

Full article:

Savage leaps to gold medal at Legion Championships #LegionNationals

August 15, 2013

By Gary Ahuja – August 14, 2013

LANGLEY TIMES – It wasn’t an easy task to get to the Legion Canadian track and field championships, but Alexander Savage ended up right where he wanted: atop the podium with a gold medal draped around his neck.

The 15-year-old from Langley leaped a personal best 6.66m — bettering his previous mark by 35cm — to take gold in the midget (16 and under) long jump at McLeod Park over the weekend.

Not bad for an athlete who had to be convinced by his father, Mike, to pay the entry fee and give it a shot at the Legion championships.

“He told me I had put so much time into it, I should go do,” Savage recalled.

Savage’s hesitance to enter stemmed from the fact he had gone to Kamloops last month with the intention of earning his way onto the Team B.C. roster — which would have waived his entry fee for the Legion championships.

To earn a spot, Savage needed to finish top-two in his event, and he thought he had with a leap of 6.00m.

But when the roster was later announced, the teen found out his best jump had been deemed illegal and voided.

Savage said he was shocked at what had transpired but finally agreed to pay the entry fee and compete on his own. He trains with the South Fraser Track and Field Club and coach Robert Esmie although it was just Savage and his father working on his long jump out at McLeod.

He also credited Flip City Gymnastics owner Rusty Pearce, who helped him working on his jumping technique and getting used to rotating his arms while he was in the air and keeping his balance.

And it all came together on Sunday, the final day of the Legion championships.

Jumping with what he called “a little chip on my shoulder”, Savage won the gold with a leap of 6.66m. The silver medal went to Team Quebec’s Ivan Nyemeck (6.57m) while Team Manitoba/Northwest Ontario’s Thomas Walser (5.99m) won bronze.

“I performed well; I was happy (with my jump),” Savage said. “It felt great.”

Savage is a newcomer to the sport, only taking up track and field seriously, this past May.

He also plays basketball with the Walnut Grove Gators junior boys’ team.

Entering Grade 10 next month at Walnut Grove, Savage plans to pursue both sports to see where they will take him.


Botsis golden at nationals #LegionNationals

August 15, 2013

By Dan Ebenal – August 15, 2013

TRI-CITY NEWS – Coquitlam’s Chanell Botsis really knows how to throw her weight around.

The 15-year-old won a gold and silver medal at last weekend’s 2013 Legion Canadian youth track and field championships at Langley’s McLeod Park.

Botsis broke her own national record in the hammer throw to win gold in the U-16 girls category with a toss of 55.21 metres. She also picked up a silver medal in the U-16 discus with her throw of 36.40 m.

“I was happy with both my performances but I was hoping for something further in the hammer throw. In the discus throw I achieved a personal best of 36.40 but in the hammer throw I was three metres short of what I wanted to throw,” said the 2012 entrant into Coquitlam’s Junior Girl Sports Hall of Fame.

Botsis has been throwing the discus and javelin for the past four years — with a back injury forcing her to give up the javelin this season — and only picked up the hammer two-and-a-half years ago.

“The first day I joined track and field I walked on the track and saw other people throwing. I was so interested and excited to try it. I didn’t know what the hammer or the javelin was until I was able to see other athletes practising,” she said.

Botsis began her track and field career with the Coquitlam Cheetahs before moving on to the Richmond Kajaks to get specialized training with her throwing events.

“I loved and had a passion for throwing and I needed a  throws coach that could teach me the different technical parts of these three throwing disciplines,” she said. “I really want to thank my coach, Richard Collier, because without his dedication and expertise to his athletes I would not be where I am.”

Botsis now has her sights set on the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China next summer.

“I will focus on training with hammer as I feel it is my strongest event and I am currently ranked No. 1 in Canada and have a good chance to qualify to make the standard and the team,” she said.

She hopes to represent Canada at many international competitions  in the future and eventually land a scholarship to a U.S. university.

Port Coquitlam’s Brittni Wolczyk also struck gold at the Legion Nationals in the U-18 women javelin with a throw of 48.71 m.

Coquitlam’s Jasmine Lew brought home a pair of silver medals despite competing against girls two years older than her. The 13-year-old was part of the second-place 4×100 m relay team and also won silver in the 1600 m medley. Lew also posted a 10th place finish in the U-16 100 m and finished 11th in the U-16 200 m.

“I was so nervous and afraid of coming last,” said Lew, who competes with the South Fraser Track and Field Club. “The experience was good and now I know I can place against the older girls.”

Anastasia Evans with the Coquitlam Cheetahs earned bronze in the U-18 women’s high jump, clearing 1.60 m.

Isaac Evans cleared 1.70 m to snare sixth spot in the U-16 boys high jump, while Adeyemi Taylor-Lewis finished sixth in the U-18 men’s 200 m in a time of 22.51 seconds.


Athletes go for gold at McLeod Park – SLIDESHOW #LegionNationals

August 14, 2013

LANGLEY TIMES – August 12, 2013

View the photo slideshow: 

Canada’s top teenaged track and field athletes were going for the gold medal over the weekend at Langley’s McLeod Athletic Park as the 2013 Canadian Legion track and field championships were held.

The event, which featured close to 1,000 athletes between the ages of 12 and 17, will also be held at McLeod Athletic Park in 2014.

Bains national meet’s top female athlete #LegionNationals

August 14, 2013

By Don Bodger – August 14 

COWICHAN NEWS LEADER PICTORIAL – Chicago Bains stood out among all the females during the prestigious Legion Canadian youth track and field championships in Langley while the other six valley athletes entered all attained a measure of success.

Bains was honoured as the winner of the LeRoy Washburn Award as the most outstanding female athlete of the national competition and also received recognition as outstanding female B.C. Team member at the meet.

“I know as I am still in a state of disbelief of what transpired, she must be overwhelmed,’’ noted coach John May of Black Creek.

Bains was due back from the Lower Mainland on Tuesday afternoon.

She created considerable fanfare with three gold medals that caused eruptions from a large personal and Team B.C. cheering section.

Mom Karmyn didn’t get to see Bains  compete in P.E.I. last year so she was obviously ecstatic to have this opportunity. “It was unbelievable,’’ said Karmyn. “I’ve never witnessed the support like that.’’

Retired former teacher/principal of George Bonner School, Herb Jawanda, now living in Delta, even stopped by to see some of Chicago Bains’ magic for himself. “I applaud Chicago’s parents for making the extra effort to get her the coaching and training to give her the opportunity to bring out the best of her ability,’’ noted Jawanda.

Bains won the gold medal in the U16 80-metre hurdles in 11.48 seconds, breaking the meet record of 11.60 dating back 31 years to 1982.

Bains also won gold in the 200 hurdles in 27.91 and ran the opening leg for the victorious U16 4×100 relay team that included Ladysmith’s Rachel Jerome.

Rounding it out for Bains was an eighth place in the 200 metres.

Sprinter Taryn Smiley got into the act with two bronze medals in the U18 girls’ 4×100 and 4×400 relays. Smiley was also in the running for top placings in the individual events, finishing sixth in the 200 in 26.05 and seventh in the 100 in 12.48.

Smiley had an unfortunate situation of being required to run the heats twice due to a timing malfunction. She won her heat both times anyway, but her schedule was thrown off by not having time for a lunch break.

Injury restricted Tia Baker to two U18 running events. She was part of the 4×400 U18 club relay team that finished fourth and wound up 20th in the U18 400 metres in 1:00.23.

Casey Heyd and Nicole Lindsay also performed well in U16 girls’ events. Heyd came fifth in the 100 metres in 12.81 and did the 4×100 on a third-place finishing team that also included the valley’s Nicole Lindsay. Lindsay was 14th in the U16 300 metres in 43.09 seconds.

Ben Williams just missed a pair of medals in boys’ U16 events. He was fourth in both the high jump (1.75 metres) and the triple jump (12.84 m). Williams made Team B.C. but then was pulled due to a statistical error, but still attained strong results on a national scale under the CVAC Jaguars’ banner.

Liam Lindsay claimed fourth place in the U18 boys’ triple jump with a leap of 13.25 metres and 10th in the long jump, reaching 6.09 m.


Concussion can’t stop Rofle from reaching new heights #LegionNationals

August 14, 2013


Langley’s Hannah Rolfe soared to the gold medal in the midget (U16) high jump at the Legion Canadian youth track and field championships at McLeod Park over the weekend. Up until a few days before the competition, Rolfe was unsure if she would be competing (photo courtesy of Trent Rolfe)

By Gary Ahuja – August 14, 2013

LANGLEY TIMES – One can only imagine what Hannah Rolfe been able to do had she been healthy the past three months.

Just cleared last week from a concussion she suffered back in May at the Fraser Valley championships, the 15-year-old Langley girl not only won the gold medal in the midget (U16) high jump at the Canadian Legion track and field championships, but she set a new personal best in the process.

The Legion championships — which saw close to 1,000 of the top track and field athletes between the ages of 12 and 17 — ran from Aug. 9 to 11 at Langley’s McLeod Park.

“I felt really confident going in to the competition,” Rolfe said. “But I did shock myself, to do as well as I did.”

The high jump was held on Sunday, the final day, and Rolfe was representing her club, the Langley Mustangs.

Rolfe, who enters Grade 10 at Walnut Grove Secondary next month, suffered the concussion during the Fraser Valley championships during the high school season.

Rolfe hit her head on the high jump standard, the pole on either side of the mat which hold the bar in place. It knocked her out of the competition and the following months can best be described as very trying.

“It was more mild in that it didn’t restrict me from doing anything normal,” Rolfe said. “But when it came to training, I would feel the symptoms come on.”

“It was very frustrating because I wanted to push through it and be able to train and get better but I was not able to, so that was definitely really hard.”

Rolfe said what motivated her was the hope she would get better and be able to compete, as well as the support from those helping her, such as her physiotherapist, masseuse and chiropractor.

Finally, just two days before the competition (Aug. 7) she was cleared to compete. This came after she had a practice session the week before and the symptoms did not return. And while she would not have minded getting the chance to travel to another part of the country for the competition — “I was a little disappointed” — the whole experience of the Legion championships was enjoyable.

“It was really fun,” Rolfe said. “I wasn’t nervous at all; I was pretty calm through the entire competition.”

She also soared to a new personal best, clearing 1.67m to capture the gold medal. Her previous best had been 1.60m. Her jump was 0.6m better than Team Ontario’s Brett Belanger, who cleared 1.61m. Another Ontario jumper, Tess Verhoeven of the London Legion, was third at 1.58m.

“I felt really confident going in to the competition but I did shock myself to do as well as I did,” Rolfe said.


Watts-Watling golden in Legion nationals #LegionNationals

August 14, 2013

THE DAILY COURIER – August 12, 2013

KELOWNA – Keely Watts-Watling overcame a season-long shoulder injury to win a gold medal at the Canadian Legion Youth Track and Field Championships in Langley over the weekend. 

The Okanagan Athletics Club member accumulated 4,786 points in the seven disciplines to edge Robyn Buckingham of Langley (4,722) for first. Ironically, Watts-Watling pulled away from the eight competitors in the under-18 field with a throw of 37.06 metres in the javelin, the event in which she was injured in May.

Only one Turner left in Games decathlon

A much-anticipated sibling rivalry between two Kelowna brothers was cut short on Monday at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que.

James Turner was leading after the first three disciplines in the decathlon, but re-injured his ankle during the high jump warm-up and was forced to withdraw from the event.

Meanwhile, Rostam Turner, sits in fourth place among the 10 athletes remaining in the national competition.*

The younger Turner, a Canadian junior bronze medalist earlier this year, has 3,240 points going into today’s final day of competition. Jessie Drennan of Nova Scotia leads with 3,557 points while Wyatt Eyford of Manitoba is in third – just 20 points ahead of Turner.

*Rostam Turner has since won the BRONZE medal in the decathlon at the Canada Summer Games (see the Canada Summer Games update post) 


#LegionNationals re-cap from this past weekend in #Langley – Records and Medalists by Day

August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

This past weekend, the Legion National Youth Track & Field Championships took over McLeod Park in Langley. Thank you to all the volunteers, officials, the Legion and all organizers for making this great event possible.

The 2013 Legion Championships were highlighted by 11 record breaking performances. The following new Championship records were established by BC athletes:

  • Midget Girls 80mH – Chicago Bains / British Columbia – 11.48
  • Midget Girls Pentathlon – Nina Schultz / British Columbia – 3332
  • Midget Boys Pentathlon – Jasper Schiedel / British Columbia – 3257
  • Midget Girls 4x100m – BC-Yukon – 47.69
  • Midget Girls Hammer – Chanell Botsis / British Columbia – 55.21m
  • Youth Girls Hammer – Natasha Akbarizadeh / British Columbia – 56.21m

For all 11 established records, click here – Full story 

Thanks to Athletics Canada, we have a compilation of the Championship Medalists for all 3 days of the competition. Click the links below to view.

Championship Medalists – Day 1 (August 9, 2013)

Championship Medalists – Day 2 (August 10, 2013)

Championship Medalists – Day 3 (August 11, 2013)