High school track-and-field athletes had a busy few days last weekend in Kelowna – host site of the 2019 BC High School Track and Field Championships – but few competitors were as busy as Semiahmoo Secondary’s Aneel Gillan.
Or as successful.
The South Surrey student won gold in one of the competition’s most gruelling competitions – the 10-event senior boys decathlon. Gillan’s total score of 5,816 points was 225 better than the second-place finisher, Isaiah Collins of Penticton. His overall victory included first-place finishes in discus, shot put, the 400-m and 110-m dash, and second-place finishes in javelin, long jump, pole vault and the 1,500-m.
In addition to his combined-events podium finish, Gillan also won a silver medal in the senior boys 110-m hurdles.
He was far from the only Surrey athlete to land on the podium at Kelowna’s Apple Bowl, however, as local athletes from Grade 8-12 returned home with medals.
Among the many winners were Earl Marriott Secondary’s Rori Denness – no stranger to the provincial and national podium – who won gold in senior girls javelin for a stunning third straight year. In 2018, she won gold with a winning toss of 41.75 m, and in 2017 took top spot with an even better throw, 43.41 m. This time, she didn’t crack the 40-m mark, but her toss of 38.75 m was more than enough to take top spot.
Two more EMS senior girls also earned medals, with Olivia Van Ryswyk and Macey Michaud finishing first and third, respectively, in the pole vault. Van Ryswyk cleared the bar at 3.25 m, which was 0.25 better than the second-place finisher, and 35 cm higher than Michaud, who finished with a 2.9-m score.
In other senior field events, Lord Tweedsmuir’s Ryan Pederson won gold in the senior boys long jump with a distance of 6.94 m; Sullivan Heights thrower Dolly Gabri won gold handily in senior girls discus, with her best throw out-distancing second place by more than five metres, and also placed first in shot put.
Pacific Academy’s Jaziel Tunti also won gold, in senior girls high jump, while other athletes finished atop the podium in a variety of track events. Tweedsmuir’s Tyler Wilson won gold in senior boys 1,500-m race walk – beating the second-place competitor, Killarney’s Johnny Tse, by 12 seconds; Fleetwood Park’s Jaiveer Tiwana won gold in senior boys 2,000-m steeplechase and bronze in the 3,000-m; Frank Hurt Secondary runner Jesaiah Penson-McCoy won two medals – gold in the senior boys 200-m and silver in the 100; and Southridge School’s Maya Kobylanski won bronze in the senior girls 1,500-m steeplechase, and was just two seconds off the lead.
Queen Elizabeth Secondary senior girls sprinter Jasneet Nijjar won gold in both the 100- and 200-m while Southridge’s Cayla Smith took silver in the 400 m and Princess Margaret’s Baneet Bains won silver in the senior girls 3,000-m.
At the junior level, Semiahmoo’s Izzy Forsyth won two gold medals – in discus and shot put; Pacific Academy’s Kennedy Primrose was first in girls triple jump while teammate Laysha Tunti was first in 80-m hurdles and second in girls long jump; Fraser Heights Secondary’s Krysthina Vlahovic won two medals – silver in 80-m hurdles and bronze in 300-m hurdles; while Pacific Academy’s Praise Aniamaka won gold in junior boys octathlon and triple jump, silver in 300-m hurdles and bronze in 100-m hurdles. Two Pacific Academy teammates, Mitchell Gibbs and Taylor Sillars, were third and fourth, respectively, in the octathlon.
Gibbs also won gold in long jump and Sillars was third in triple jump.
Lord Tweedsmuir thrower Michael Ogbeiwi won a medal of each colour – gold in shot put, silver in discus and bronze in hammer throw – while Semiahmoo’s Cayden Arnold was first in junior boys pole vault. Earl Marriott’s Micah Logie was second in the 1,500-m steeplechase while Tweedsmuir’s Adam Peterson was second in junior boys 100-m hurdles.
At the Grade 8 level, there were medal-winners aplenty, too, including in the boys 1,500-m, which finished with two local runners at the top – Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning’s Caiden Lee in first, and Earl Marriott’s Hudson Irvine in the silver-medal position. Lee also won gold in the 3,000-m and silver in the 800, while Irvine picked up a gold in the same 800-m race.
Other winners included: Salish Secondary’s Lindsay Cyr, first in girls shot put; Surrey Christian’s Kerlinda Chatwin, first in both the 100- and 200-m; Panorama Ridge Secondary’s Leah Peters, gold in 200-m hurdles and silver in 80-m hurdles; Claire Nichol of Holy Cross, who won gold in girls 400-m; Pacific Academy’s Divine Aniamaka, gold in boys triple jump; and Clayton Heights Secondary’s Liam O’Donnell, who won gold in the boys 100-m dash and was third in the 200.