Peninsula track and field athletes dominate at B.C. championships

Maggie Hanlon, Casey Atkin score metals at Coquitlam track meet

Maggie Hanlon won the 100 m

Maggie Hanlon won the 100 m

Two local track and field athletes’ suitcases were a little heavier coming home from Coquitlam this past weekend.

Maggie Hanlon and Casey Atkin, who train out of Pacific Athletics, had a successful stint at the B.C. Track and Field Championships held July 13-15 with both women medalling in events, as well as setting personal and season’s best times.

Hanlon had a personal best in the 400 m (senior), placing first with a time of 56.5 seconds. Shortly after, she placed first in the 100 m (senior).

Hanlon then finished off the weekend with a third gold medal in the 200 m.

At the senior national trials, Hanlon represented B.C. and placed ninth in the 100 m with her second fastest time in the 100 m (11.94 seconds), and 11th in the 200 m.

Atkin, recovering from an injury earlier this season, had a close finish in the 400 m with a season’s best of 57.09, placing second in the B.C. championships (junior).

On day three of the championships, Atkin placed second in the 200 m (junior).

“Every time we race we want to do better than the previous time,” said Hanlon. “We left [provincials] happy, but as athletes we always want to do better.”

With the provincials behind them, the two are looking forward to travelling to Europe in August to compete in two Flanders Cup Meets in Leuven and Merksen, Belgium with two other team members, Claire Donner (long jump) and Olivia Merritt (javelin).

“This is a trip we’ve wanted to do for a few years, but it kept getting pushed backwards because of the cost and when the events in Belgium fell,” explained Hanlon.

“This year was a good year because we’ve had time to fundraise and also because we didn’t have teams to make in August. For instance, last year one member of the team that’s going this year had Western Canada Games trials in August so we couldn’t go. So this year was just the right time.”

The Sidney branch of the Bank of Montreal is supporting the women’s trip with funds from their charity account and Peninsula Gallery is also working with the athletes to help them fundraise and gain the international experience.

In the Sidney BMO, there is currently a silent auction happening for a print by Kathryn Mullaney and on Aug. 3 the branch will host a jeans day, bake sale and larger silent auction.

More details about the fundraising can be found at www.pengal.com.