Trackletes get into districts action

By Jamie Harkins

May 18, 2017 12:00 AM

LEAVING IT ALL ON THE TRACK Holy Rosary High School Raiders' runner Adriane Wever begins her run after accepting the baton from an exhausted Yuliya Shcherban during the girls 4x400-metre relay competition. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO

Track and field is quickly becoming the go-to springtime sport for young athletes in the Border City and its surrounding communities.
“It’s my first track meet, but it wasn’t too bad,” said Lloydminster Comprehensive High School (LCHS) Barons’ athlete Anthony Clendening, 18, who captured a first place finish in the senior boys long jump event and a third place showing in the 100-metre dash.
“I enjoyed it quite a bit. I’m a volleyball player, but I thought I would give (track) a shot my last year so here I am.”
Clendening was one of over 100 students from Lloydminster, Vermilion, Paradise Valley, Dewberry, Kitscoty, Mannville and Marwayne who competed in the District Track and Field Championships at Lloydminster Comprehensive High School (LCHS) on Tuesday.
These athletes were all aiming for a top-three finish in their respective events, which would earn them a berth in the Alberta Schools Athletic Association (ASAA) Zone Championships in St. Paul next Wednesday.
Holy Rosary High School Raiders competitor Brittany Enstrom, 17, is heading to zones thanks to finishing first at intermediate shot put and second at discus. Enstrom said the Raiders track and field team had been preparing for this meet for about two weeks and a lot of the credit for their strong showing can go to their coaches who are always there to help with anything mental or physical that may be needed.
“I think out of the 41 (Raiders competing at districts), probably 37 of them have qualified for zones,” said Raiders’ track and field coach Wendy Orieux.
“Coming with a lot of athletes we expected quite a few of them would move on. And this is a smaller meet. The zone meet next week is a lot bigger and the competition will be that much more difficult being it is such a big zone, but I wouldn’t say I expected that many of them to qualify. So, we’re really happy with that.”
Orieux said 15 more athletes competed for the Raiders at zones this year compared to last with many of the kids participating in the junior division as Grade 10s.
She said a lot of these kids have competed in track and field during their middle school years, but there are also many athletes who have just decided to take up the sport.
“I credit the kids for that,” she said. “They talk about how much fun they’re having and the success that they’re having and that gets other kids interested in it as well.”
Cole Bloxam, coach of the Bisons track and field team, said 39 LCHS kids participated in the District Championships and a majority of them finished top-three to earn a berth at zones.
He said track and field has always been a big part of LCHS athletics with most of that success coming thanks to their middle school feeder programs, but there definitely has been an increased focus on the sport in recent years.
“This is my third year helping out on the coaching staff and I’ve noticed every year we’re getting bigger,” said Bloxam. “The sport is growing in Lloyd for sure.”
Enstrom said this will be the fifth year she’s spent the spring months training and competing in track and field. She said her best result came in shot put last year at zones with a throw of 12.17 metres and the hope is that mark will be hit again this Tuesday.
“This time I’m really just focused on doing my best and not worrying about what people around me are doing,” said Enstrom. “I’m just going up there and hopefully getting a new personal best. I’ll be happy if I go off with that.”

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