Young athletes find success at championships

This weekend was one of personal bests for the Penticton Athletic Team during their performance at the B.C. Track and Field Championships.

It was a weekend of personal bests for the Penticton Athletic Team during their performance at the B.C. Track and Field Championships in Coquitlam.

Head coach Gustav Allander said he was impressed by his team’s showing at the championship, which is the last event of the season for most.

“I’m thrilled. Pretty much every athlete had a personal best in every event they entered. That’s pretty much all you can ask for,” said Allander.  “A lot of them weren’t just beating their personal bests by a little, they were crushing them you could say.”

Allander noted that along with the year’s training, the knowledge that this tournament was the season’s last could have forced the athletes to push their limits.

“Being a championship meet, the kids get excited and pumped up for it, and some of them surprise themselves that they can push themselves that much harder,” he said.

Fourteen-year-old Maya Venkataraman dropped her 800-metre run time by five seconds, which Allander described as a “huge drop.” As well, Haven Dufty increased her personal best for the triple jump by nearly half a metre, earning a bronze medal in the process in her age group.

The team also racked up medals in the 400-m hurdles, where Layne Richardson took silver in the 18-19 men’s group. Tristan Stadnyk received bronze in both the 300-m dash and high jump.

This week, two members of the team, Nicole Mann and Haven Dufty, will be going on to the B.C. Summer Games. However, the rest of the team will be taking a much deserved break.

Allander doesn’t want his athletes getting too comfortable though; the next training season is right around the corner.

“Probably next week or so we’ll meet up and sort of discuss goals for next year,” he said. “I want to keep them motivated in the training and keep them focused on the goals they have for next year so they have something to train for.”