Revelstoke Secondary School’s track and field team brought home a record six medals from the BC High School Track and Field provincial meet in Kelowna May 30 to June 1, including Cole Bibby’s gold in junior boys javelin.
“I think RSS has won up to two medals in previous years,” said head track coach Jeff Colvin. “This year is our most successful result ever, as far as I know. It’s a testament to our volunteer coaches who run the practices.”
The coaches are Rob Brown, Jeremy Weddell, and Marek Glowacki, who coach middle distance, hurdles, sprints and throws.
Thirty-one RSS athletes qualified for provincials this year, with 51 students involved in track season at almost-weekly meets in Kamloops.
“For a school population of 400, that’s close to 10 per cent of kids going to provincials,” said Colvin.
Of those student, five won medals at the BCHSTF provincials this year including:
• Bibby—gold, junior boys javelin
• Cassidy Legebokow—silver, junior girls hammer
• Matt Arnold—silver, senior boys hammer
• Fia Cameron—bronze, Grade 8 200 m and 400 m hurdles
• Micah Starling—bronze, Grade 8 javelin
According to the BCHSTF website, track and field was the first sport in the province to have an official high school championship, although there were Vancouver and District championships for a number of years.
This year marked BCHSTF’s 52nd consecutive provincial championship, as well as the 90th anniversary of the first-ever provincial high school meet, sparked by Vancouver’s Percy Williams’ Olympic golds in the 100-metre and 200-metre sprints at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.
And Revelstoke has its own Olympic track-and-field connection.
The junior and senior RSS throwers train in Kamloops with Dylan Armstrong, who in 2015 was awarded the bronze medal for shot put from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Armstrong placed fourth in Beijing, a centimetre behind Andrei Mikhnevich from Belarus. However, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) later determined that Mikhnevich had been doping, and he is now banned from the sport for life.
Revelstoke Secondary’s Legebokow trains with Armstrong for hammer.
“I threw once last year, and then tried it again this year. I went to zones [in Kamloops] and took first and Dylan said I should come out to train to see if I could join the Kamloops [Track and Field] Club team.”
Legebokow started her field experience with javelin, then discus, and when she was in Grade 8 she saw RSS’s Erin Behncke in Grade 12 throwing hammer.
“Erin and Alana [Brittin] were the only girl throwers then,” Legebokow said. “And now there’s Mimi Kramer, Devyn Gale, Paige McKenzie, and Amy Whitty. It’s nice to see more girls getting into throwing events.”
Armstrong was at the Jesse Bent Memorial meet in Coquitlam, where Revelstoke’s Bibby broke his own BC record in javelin, throwing 56.08m.
It’s not all about the medals, though.
“I was really pleased with my performance in the 1500-metre heats. I was able to get a personal best and make it to the finals, which was my goal for the meet,” said Emily Macleod, a Grade 10 student who competed in the 1500-metre and 3000-metre.
Macleod finished sixth in her heat out of at least 32 schools, and 12th in the finals. She also broke an RSS junior girls’ record for the 1500-metre, running her heat in 4:54.
In other top-ten results, Isaac Starling placed fourth in junior boys javelin, Connor Whitty placed fifth in junior boys javelin, and Laine Bull placed seventh in junior boys 100-metre hurdles.
“We had three kids from Revelstoke place in the top eight for javelin,” said Colvin. “That’s pretty amazing.”