KLO Cougars coach Chad Wardman was buzzing around the outside of the Apple Bowl track, telling everyone within earshot just how Kelowna kids were dominating.
You can’t fault him for his enthusiasm as the B.C. high school track and field championships began on Thursday night.
Not since 1972 has Kelowna hosted the event, and it appeared Okanagan athletes were more than holding their own against bigger schools from the Lower Mainland.
Wardman’s Grade 8 boys were one example. The 4X100-metre relay team took gold in a time of 46.51 seconds, 1.22 seconds better than their pervious best time.
“Which is blisteringly fast,” Wardman said.
The small school brought 27 athletes to the provincials this week, not bad considering just four years ago they had six.
Wardman chalked up his team’s performance to “a great night to run” combined with the fact the boys had “never been pushed like that before.”
The winning team consisted of Santino Corbo, Kory Cheese-Clacken, Tyson Carr and Lynden Infanti.
It appeared the Apple Bowl track was running hot on a humid, warm evening session where the relays were the marquee events.
The Kelowna Secondary School Owls were there to take advantage.
The junior boys relay set a provincial record with a time of 44.01 seconds, or 1.02 seconds faster than their previous best time.
Naturally, they easily qualified for today’s final.
“Conditions are perfect, really,” said Bridget Kamp, one of the KSS coaches. She has three “converted” football players running in the relay, and their brawny power was on full display Thursday.
“They want it and they work really hard,” Kamp said.
The only question mark for Kamp was the transitions, but Aidan Vint, Caeleb Schlachter, Noah Gross and Xavier Webb had little trouble passing the baton in their heat.
KSS so dominated that Gross had his hand raised in victory 20 metres before Cameron crossed the finish line.
“They spent some good time just polishing off their handoffs,” Kamp said.
“They come in hot,” she said, laughing a little, “so they have to trust each other.”
8:35: Hurdles Heats (all ages)
10:20: 100-metre Heats (all ages)
11:50: Steeplechase (Senior finals)
1:10: 3,000 Finals (Grade 8s)
1:35: Opening Ceremonies
1:45: Hurdles Finals
2:15: 100 Final (Special Olympics)
2:25: 100 Final (All Ages)
3:00: 400 Final (All Ages)
3:45: 1,500 Finals (Junior, Senior)
4:25: 4X100 Relay Final (Junior, Senior)
4:50: 4X400 Relay Final (Grade 8s)
5:45: 4X400 Relay Heats (Junior, Senior)
8:30: Javelin (Senior Boys)
9:00: Long Jump (Gr. 8); Discus (Jr. Boys); Pole Vault (Jr. Boys); High Jump (Sr. Girls); Triple Jump (Sr. Boys)
11:00: Hammer Throw (Sr. Girls)
1:30: Long Jump (Gr. 8 Boys); Triple Jump (Jr. Boys); Javelin (Jr. Girls); Shot Put (Jr. Boys); Pole Vault (Sr. Girls); High Jump (Sr. Boys); Hammer Throw (Sr. Girls)
4:00: Javelin (Gr. 8 Girls); Shot Put (Gr. 8 Boys); Long Jump (Jr. Girls); Hammer Throw (Jr. Girls).
See BCTrack.ca for more results and a full schedule.