The outlook for Maple Ridge secondary’s annual track meet on Wednesday was not as sunny as for the school’s talented team of athletes.
“We were setting up all day getting drenched to the bone,” said Ken Elphick, who coaches the Ramblers track team, and also organizes the premier high school track and field event in the city.
“But it ended up fantastic.”
It started with one girl running alone in the 100m hurdles, then two boys, but as the sun came out, so did the athletes. About 20 area high schools were represented at the annual Nick Wilkes Invitational.
It is a warmup for the track season, and some of the first real competition for track teams in the Fraser Valley.
Elphick is optimistic about his team this season, as it is anchored by a talented group of girls.
“They’re good. Last year we werer really close at the B.C.s to winning the senior girls (team scoring), and we’ve got a chance again this year.”
Grade 10 thrower Mateya Haintz is a returning provincial champion, and recently broke the MRSS school record for the girls hammer throw. She entered the shot put and discus at her home meet on Wednesday won both with no need for a tape measure.
A leader on the team is Jamie Hennessey who will run distance events, but rested through the meet in anticipation of cometing at the Oregon Relays this weekend.
Jorrin Lenton is a Grade 11 who won the 400m race coming off shoulder surgery. It was his first race, and Elphick said he is running great. Last year he won gold in the junior 300m hurdles and was silver in pentathlon.
Aaryanna Kurucz is a Grade 11 sprinter and hurdler who won the 100m dash at the Nick Wilkes. She was third in the province in the 200m and 400m last year.
Emily Morley is a Grade 11 who took silver in the junior girls 300m hurdles at last year’s provincials, as well as bronze in pentathlon.
Cole Deakin is a Grade 11 who will compete in the 200m and 400m sprints this year.
Jade Lenton is a Grade 8 who won the 400m at the Wilkes meet, and will likely compete as a senior girl this year.
These are just some of the athletes who should get the Ramblers on podiums at upcoming meets this spring.
Elphic said the snowy and cold weather has put his team behind in training.
“We’re still dropping the baton in relays,” he said. “I had to cancel our icebreaker [meet], because we would have been literally breaking ice.”