Ten members of the Comox Valley Cougars track club qualified to compete for Zone 6 at the B.C. Summer Games last month in Prince George. The the Vancouver Island-Central Coast was the largest zone for athletics at the Games. Each athlete could compete in a maximum of three individual events, or the pentathlon and one relay.
Two athletes from Campbell River, Ryan Lofstrom and Victoria Hoffman, had strong results. Ryan ran commanding races to win gold in the 100- and 200-metre sprints, and in the 4x100m relay. He also won silver in the shot put. Victoria finished second in the 80m and 300m hurdle races, won bronzed in the 4 x 100m relay, and she came fourth in the shot put. Teammate Maile Wesner of Comox finished close behind Victoria to take third in the 300m hurdles. She was also a member of the gold medal winning 4 x 400m relay team. Kylie Zaal finished sixth in the 300m hurdles.
Gillian Galik of Royston competed in the girls pentathlon, completing all five events in one day. After struggling in her 80m hurdle race, she rebounded to jump a 10cm personal best in high jump and threw a personal best in shot put. She finished the day with the bronze medal. Walker Smits had a great run in the 1,500m steeplechase to place fifth in a personal best time.
In field events, Payge Doty-Brown won a silver medal in hammer throw — and earned a BC Summer Games leadership bursary. In the boys javelin, Thomas Macdonnell won bronze and Tyson Servos was fifth. For the girl’s javelin, Erika Burry won the gold medal with a personal best throw of 42.57m.
“The camaraderie and sportsmanship was above anything anyone could have imagined,” mom and club coach Stephanie Hoffman said. “Every athlete was encouraged, cheered for and included. As a mother and a coach, I couldn’t be more proud of our Zone 6 athletes. A memorable, heart-warming, soul-impacting games.”
Several of the athletes were in Sherbrooke, Que. last weekend to compete at the Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships for U16 and U18 competitors. Lacie Simmons won a silver medal in the U18 girls 100-metre hurdles. Lofstrom won bronze medals in the U16 boys 100-metre and 200m sprints, a silver in the 300m and a gold in the medley relay. Galik won a silver medal in U16 girls javelin.