The Spruce Capital Invitational meet, held each June in Prince George, is the premier track and field event in northern BC. This year it provided an excellent venue for the rapidly developing Tumbler Ridge Track and Field team to compete against the best in the north, against athletes from as far away as Kelowna and Bella Coola. Some outstanding results were posted, which are testimony to the dedication of these athletes, as well as a credit to their coaches who have trained them for the past three months.
Nine athletes represented Tumbler Ridge. For Caitlyn McWhirter this was her first meet, and she was delighted to come away with a bronze medal in the discus event. Crystal Fry extended her dominance in the javelin event with a personal best (PB) first place finish, and gained a PB in the 1500 meters as well. Kelsey Legault proved unbeatable in three field events, dominating the high jump, discus and long jump for her age group.
The Sharman sisters, Natalie and Laura, ended up amongst the hardware again with numerous personal bests: Natalie?s strongest placings were a first in shot put and third in long jump, while Laura managed an amazing clean sweep with gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump and javelin. Although she is only in Grade 6, her long jump distance of 4.40 meters meets the Grade 8-9 provincial qualifying standard!
Carina Helm decreased her 1500 meters time by nine seconds to win in 5-33, and older brother Daniel made great gains on the track, posting 56.9 in the 400 meters, improving his PBs in the 800 meters and 1500 meters, and winning the 400 meter hurdles. Linda Helm, who is reintroducing race-walking in Tumbler Ridge, performed strongly in the 1500 meter race-walk with Jen Legault. Forty-nine year old Charles Helm achieved his goal of running a sub 60 second 400 meters, finishing in 59.1.
With such depth in the girls? team, it came as no surprise that the team of Legault, Helm, Fry and N.Sharman comfortably won the 4 x 100 relay event. Coaches Linda Helm and Birgit Sharman were on hand to spur on the athletes, with help from expert coach Max Legault. All in all it was a weekend to cherish. The developments that the District of Tumbler Ridge has promised on the field below TRSS (five painted lanes on the grass, concrete shot put and discus circles, a discus cage, and an enlarged long jump pit) will provide these athletes and anyone interested in improving their physical fitness with enhanced opportunities for training and recreation.