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.