Two Revelstoke throwing stars have returned home from the Canadian Youth Athletics Championships in Prince Edward Island with medals around their necks.
Peter Behncke won silver in the under-18 hammer throw and Chris Andrews took home bronze in the under-16 shot put at last weekend’s meet.
Behncke took the long way to the championships. After a disappointing qualifying meet where he failed to make Team BC, he decided to travel to PEI on his own.
“I knew I could beat the guys who made the team,” he said. “It gave me motivation to come [and] win.”
There, he launched the hammer 56.92 metres – a personal best for him. He also had the third and fourth best throws on the day, but was beat out for gold by Tory Shewfelt, whose best throw on the day outdid Behncke’s best by only 19 centimetres.
“It’s just been amazing,” said Behncke about his results. “I’m at a loss for words because of how I did.”
Andrews’ throw of 15.16 metres in the shot put was good enough for third place, 21 centimetres out of second. He also finished fourth in the discus and hammer throw, missing a medal in the former event by only 17 centimetres.
“It feels amazing to know all the training I’ve been doing has paid off in new personal best,” he said following the meet. “The experience here has been amazing meeting new friends, making new bests and getting to see the other side of Canada. I couldn’t ask for a better time than that.”
He said his plan is to keep training with the aim of winning a medal when he moves up to the higher age group next year.
“And hopefully qualify for the Youth Olympics in 2014 and break national records,” he added.
Jeff Colvin, the throwing coach for the Revelstoke Secondary School track team, called Behncke a “very dedicated student-athlete” and a leader on the team who helped coach his younger teammates during the teachers’ job action in the spring.
“With another year left in high school, things look very promising for Peter to bring home the first Senior gold medal since the ‘80s,” said Colvin.
He said Andrews was “pretty raw and unrefined when it comes to throws.”
“I really look forward to watching Chris progress as he makes athletics a focus in his life. He has a lot of potential.”