Penticton Lakers take top spots at Nike Grand Prix

Penticton Lakers track athletes earned three first place finishes a Nike High School Grand Prix invitational meet in Toronto.

Lucas Hooper of the Penticton Lakers boys track team took top spot in the 200 m and 400 m finals at the Nike High School Grand Prix invitiation meet in Toronto.

Lucas Hooper of the Penticton Lakers boys track team took top spot in the 200 m and 400 m finals at the Nike High School Grand Prix invitiation meet in Toronto.

Penticton Lakers track team earned three first place finishes at the Nike High School Grand Prix invitational meet in Toronto from May 9 to 12.

Lucas Hooper took top spot in the boys 200-metre finals and boys 400m finals.

“This was my first time winning gold and it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt,” said Lucas.

More than 280 athletes representing 12 provinces and territories competed in the Grand Prix, now in its second year. The event itself was touted as a chance for high school athletes to come together in competition but also a chance to socialize with other teens and attend educational panels.

“High School Grand Prix is about the opportunity to compete and hitting your personal best along the way. It’s also about getting to meet awesome people along the way,” said Lucas. “I would highly recommend doing an event like this for every sport because it increases friendship amongst the team and creates excitement for Canadian sports.”

His brother, Kyle Hooper, also found success at the meet finishing in first place in high jump (1.80m), eighth in the 100m dash and 10th in the 200m. He said not only was it a great experience on the track, but he also enjoyed the gear they got during the meet.

“The locker room experience, filled with custom gear and your name, made you feel like a professional and made the entire experience worth it whether you win or lose,” he said.

Penticton coach Geoff Waterman said the Grand Prix is a positive experience for the athletes and they will walk away with a ton of memories from all the friendships and experiences they had.

Last year, the Penticton team sent three athletes, and the buzz they created when they came home piqued the interest of other athletes. This year Penticton sent nine. Justin Schenk finished 22nd in the boys 200m and 15th in the 400m. John Croft placed 39th in the 400m, 35th in the 800m and 29th in the 1500m. Cameron Lynka took 12th in the 800m and 18th in the 1500m. Richard Xiang finished 10th in the 1500m and 16th in the long jump, while Jake Klan finished in 32nd in the long jump.

“With HSGP the team has grown. Some of the kids have experienced a personal best here, and as a coach that’s all you can ask for,” he said.

The athletes also toured around Toronto on a chartered sightseeing bus androde an elevator to the top of the CN Tower when they weren’t digging their spikes into the track at Varsity Stadium in the Canadian 10-event track and field competition.

“My favourite experience of the weekend was visiting the CN Tower,” said Kyle Walker. “At the meet I feel like the atmosphere and slight pressure helped contribute to my success in hitting a personal best in high jump. I could not be more grateful.”

Walker finished in 24th in the high jump with a personal best of 1.49m and finished in 34th place in the boys 400m race.

Just Posted

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

Justin Fotherby,17, and Ashley McMillan, 17 have been chosen for an invitation only competition that sees 20 of Canada’s top swimmers per event vying for a spot at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Submitted)
Penticton swimmers off to Olympic trials

The pair are eyeing a spot on the Canadian team heading to the Tokyo Olympics

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read