Even on a bad day – by his own standards – Mason Kereszti dominates in the javelin, his specialty.
He won gold in that event at the B.C. high school track and field championships in Burnaby last weekend (June 2 and 3). He also won gold in the discus, and bronze in the shot put.
“I didn’t train with the discus or shot put, and only threw them in three competitions this year, so I’m happy it all just came together for me with those two events,” said the Grade 12 Lambrick Park student.
Kereszti’s dominance in the javelin was blatant, as he beat the silver medal winner by just under eight metres. Not bad for an off day.
“I don’t know what was wrong,” Kereszti said. “I was more than four metres short of my personal best.”
It’s the second year in a row that Lambrick Park secondary has turned out a future national team member in a throwing event.
Kereszti is following in the footsteps of his cousin Adam Keenan, who graduated from Lambrick in 2011, and will join him in Kamloops this summer to train with the national training centre. Keenan has been there one year already, focusing on the hammer throw.
Kereszti hopes to one day succeed Olympian Scott Russell as the reigning Canadian javelin thrower.
It will be a few more years of junior and under-23 competitions until the two can pack on the kind of bulk sported by Olympic-level throwers, though Keenan is well on his way.
Kereszti will enroll at Thompson Rivers University, just as Keenan currently is, and will train alongside his cousin under the watchful eyes of Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk. The highly regarded Russian also coaches Olympic medal hopeful Dylan Armstrong (shot put).
Going into the provincial competition Kereszti was eyeing more than just medals in all three of his events. He wanted to take Kyle Neilsen’s (Burnaby Central) javelin record of 66.81 metres, set in 2007.
Instead, Kereszti had to settle with 60.73m, though his personal best with the modified hunting spear is within striking distance of Neilsen’s record.
Had things gone right, Kereszti would have continued a string of records set by Greater Victoria athletes in the last three years. Oak Bay High’s David McKay set the pole vaulting record of 4.66m in 2010, while last year Keenan set the discus record of 56.17m and Mount Douglas secondary runner Katelyn Hayward ran the 1,500m steeplechase time down to four minutes, 58.85 seconds.
Kereszti also came within .84m from winning gold in the shot put. It would have matched Keenan’s output as B.C.’s most outstanding male athlete in 2011, when the latter won gold in shot put, discus and hammer.
Six days a week Kereszti lifts weights in a program designed to maximize his javelin distance. He practises throwing at either the Lambrick or Mount Doug school fields.
The cousins are now in training for the national junior track and field championships, set for Winnipeg, July 27 to 29.
Oak Bay streak ends
The Oak Bay girls team’s domination of the provincial track and field championships ended at nine straight titles with the team’s second-place finish in Burnaby.
The four-by-400m relay team of Rianne Craig, Bree Neale, Lexie Scott and Heather Vantassell won gold, and the same team won silver in the four by 100m, swapping in Kiah Ecceleston for Vantassell.
Craig also won silver in the pole vault, clearing 2.85m, with the bronze medal going to Lindsay Cole of Mount Doug. Madelyn Brunt won bronze in the 1,500m steeplechase. Nina Briggs and Natalie Henderson took gold and bronze, respectively, in the 1,500m race walk.
Oak Bay’s boys team also had a down year, but still won its share of medals, finishing third.
Simon Psotka won gold in the pole vault. Liam Kennell won bronze in the 1,500m, beating Mount Doug rival Thomas Getty, who was fourth. And Graham Landells won silver in the 1,500m race walk.
The fruit of fourth place
A belated adjustment to the decathlon standings moved Lambrick’s Lucas Dellabough from fifth to fourth, which pushed the Lambrick boys team ahead of Oak Bay. Dellabough also took bronze in the 200m dash and finished fourth in the 100m dash.