Maple Ridge athletes win provincial gold

Ryan Beaubien of Pitt Meadows pole vaults at the 2014 B.C. High School Track and Field Championships at McLeod Park in Langley on May 31. - Boaz Joseph/Black Press
Ryan Beaubien of Pitt Meadows pole vaults at the 2014 B.C. High School Track and Field Championships at McLeod Park in Langley on May 31.
— image credit: Boaz Joseph/Black Press

Maple Ridge secondary’s Monique Lisek did break the provincial record in the 400m hurdles, as her coaches predicted she would, at the B.C. Track and Field Championships in Langley on Saturday.

But she had to settle for second, despite her time of 1:00.22, to Stephanie Cho’s 1:00.09.

“Monique was leading going over the final hurdle, and she just got nipped at the finish line,” said MRSS head coach Ken Elphick.

Cho, of Vancouver’s Sir Winston Churchill, “won by a lean,” he said.

Lisek can be consoled by knowing she lost to tough competition – Cho finished eighth at the world championships last year.  It was just the third time Lisek has competed in hurdles, and she has already run a time standard that would make her eligible for selection to the national youth team.

“Her upside, because she’s so new to the event, is huge,” said Elphick.

Lisek won the long jump with a leap of 5.56m, and finished second in the 400m with a time of 55.84.

Universities have taken notice, and after Lisek posted the hurdle time, scholarship offers from universities started to come in.

Nathan Wadhwani and Reid Muller are former training partners who went stride-for-stride in the 1,500m race.

Wadhwani is a Maple Ridge resident who attends school at Terry Fox, while Muller is a Pitt Meadows Marauder. Wadhwani won with a time of 3:56.14 to Muller’s 3:57.48

The Fox track star competes internationally, and also won the 3,000m race at 8:38.75.

Muller also finished second in the senior boys 800m race. With another year of high school track ahead of him, Muller will be favoured to turn those two silvers into golds next year.

“Both of them are talented runners who are going places,” said Elphick.

Another Pitt Meadows standout was senior thrower Olivia Moriconi, who won the discus by a three-meter margin with her 43.31m chuck, and then took shot put gold with a throw of 12.24m.

Garibaldi secondary’s Natasha Akbarizadeh won the senior girls hammer, stealing it on her final attempt with a heave of 54.02m.

Jordan Ellingson of Maple Ridge Christian finished second in the senior javelin with a throw of 53.98m.

Ridge sprinter Ajibike Abisayo finished third in the junior girls 100m, but she was achingly close to a gold medal. She ran it in 12.80, second was 12.76 and the winner went 12.75. Onlookers couldn’t tell who had won.

Thomas Haney’s Erick Villanueva finished third in the junior boys long jump with a leap of 5.92m, and his teammate Jayden Brown was second in the Grade 8 long jump at 5.5m.

Jorrin Lenton, a MRSS  Grade 8, took second in javelin,, and Kate Meredith Meredith won the Grade 8 girls shot put at 10.56m.

“She threw nearly a meter farther than she had before, so she was excited,” said her coach Andrew Lenton

Westview had a pair of Grade eights who medalled, as Sean Whiteside finished second in the 400m, and Graeme Roberts in high jump.

For a long time the meet was for seniors only, but Grade 8 and junior athletes have been competing in more recent years in exhibition, and this year the juniors championships were officially sanctioned for the first time.

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