The Maple Ridge Ramblers track team won the senior girls triple A title at the B.C. Track and Field Championships, and the entire team, boys and girls, placed second overall.
“We had fantastic performances from all the athletes, but the key was the strength of the relays,” said coach Ken Elphick.
The girls won the 4x400m relay, and missed winning the 4x100m relay by a small margin – just 0.22 seconds behind Kelowna.
The 4×100 team was made up of Aimee Milliard, Hannah Nelson, Emily Morley and Aaryanna Kurucz, and they broke a school record that had lasted for 20 years by running 50 seconds flat.
The winning 4x400m team winning team was made up of Brooke Parry, Emily Morley, Jamie Hennessey and Aaryanna Kurucz.
“The irony of it all is that the senior girls didn’t win a single event (other than a relay),” said Elphick. “However, what won the title for us is that we had kids participating in lots of events and scoring points in them all. Sometimes they sacrificed the opportunity to get their fastest times in order to focus on the team title.”
An example was Kurucz, who ran 10 races over the three-day stretch, which meant she ran heats and finals for everything, including anchoring the relays. She took a bronze medal in the 400m race.
Morley was similarly busy. She did the heptathlon last week where she won bronze, was in the 400m hurdles and 400m dash plus both relays. She won a silver medal in the 400m hurdles, and so came away from the provincials with a gold medal and three silver.
Hennessey ran heats and finals in the 1500m and 3000m, scoring points in both races with sixth and seventh place finishes respectively, plus did the 4x400m.
“They were the workhorses of the victory, and were absolutely exhausted by the time they got to the 4x400m relay, but they still found the energy to run four seconds faster in the final than in the heats,” said the coach. “Each of those girls might have done better in their individual events if they didn’t have to run heats and finals of relays too, but they love the relays and they worked hard for the team.”
He said it was a whole team effort and there were other contributors. A good example is Aimee Milliard who was on the 4×100 relay but also squeaked out some unexpected points in the triple jump. Hannah Nelson also did well in the triple and ran a great leg in the 4×100.
“I think all the girls could smell the title and they exceeded expectations.”
It is the first-ever women’s AAA BC title for MRSS, and the team’s first title in 20 years.
The Ramblers finished second overall in the team title with the help of the senior boys.
Jorrin Lenton finished second in the 400m hurdles, and the relay team of Cole Deakin, Jake Loftus, Nico Aron and Jorrin Lenton finished sixth in the 4x400m to earn more points.
The boys who were members of the senior team that were runners up in the combined team title also included Matt Liosis, Jake Loftus, Alex Ross and Josh Schweyer.
The junior team was on fire. Mateya Haintz won her second hammer title in two years, and also earned a silver in the discus.
Ilse Rafter was fourth in the 1500m steeplechase.
Nicholas Aron, a Grade 9 boy, won the junior boys 800m in a fantastic tactical race in which he out-sprinted his competitors.
Aidan Grout, also in grade 9, jumped 1.80m to earn a silver in the junior boys high jump. He actually jumped the same height as the winner, but finished second based on previous misses.
Alina Olson threw over 11m in the shot put to finish sixth, and Ilse Rafter finished fourth in the 1500m steeplechase.
The Rambler Grade 8s also had a great meet. The 4x100m boys relay team lost in a photo finish and took silver. The team was made of a Sam Nelson, Adrian Truong, Ty Stevenson and Jack Emley-Graham.
The same boys, with Carter Stevenson replacing Nelson, finished sixth in the 4x400m. Nelson finished fourth in the 200m sprint, Truong finished seventh in the 400m, Carter Stevenson finished sixth in the 800m and Ty Stevenson finished seventh in the javelin.
For the Pitt Meadows Marauders, Liam Foster ran for silver in the senior 800m, and bronze in the 1,500m.
Kristen Lagerstrom placed sixth in the senior girls long jump, Sierrah Burrows was fourth in the junior girls long jump.
The Thomas Haney Thunder track team had Nolan McEachern become a Grade 8 B.C. champion in high jump with a PB of 1.8m.
“He is so young, so composed and has so much potential,” said his coach Carol Tsang. “He will be amazing to follow for the next four years.
Haney senior girl Madelyn Huston, “who has always been our superstar,” took bronze in 800m. She also ran a personal best and came in fifth in the 1500m.
Ashton Koop of Garibaldi tied for third place in the Grade 8 boys high jump with a leap of 1.65m.