Claremont secondary’s Max Szczawinski won gold in the discus and Reynolds secondary’s Brendan Hoff won two gold medals lead the way for Saanich athletes at the high school Track and Field Provincials.
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Hoff’s performance leaves a lasting impression as he heads off to compete for the University of Victoria Vikes next year. He won gold in the men’s 1,500m (3:53.40), and in the 3,000m (8:42.87).
“I made the decision going in to put on a bit of a show, to run the fastest I can really go and get out in front, but unfortunately coming into the meet I was a bit under the weather,” Hoff said.
When he started the 1,500m, Hoff made a decision to go for it and fun in front from wire to wire. It nearly backfired as Tanner Geary of Sardis secondary pressured Hoff in the final 100m.
“He stayed with me and put up a good fight, I pulled the group through some pretty good splits but I had made up my mind that I’d done too much to lose today,” Hoff said.
Geary ended up 3:53.93, a half second back of Hoff.
The 3,000m was a more tactical approach for Hoff, who waited until the final 400m to move up.
“With 200m to go I took off and didn’t look back.”
It’s the last 3,000m track race Hoff will do this year. He’s now campaigning to qualify for the world junior track championships in Poland. He’ll need a sub-3:48 at either the Portland Track Festival, June 11-12, Harry Jerome Track Classic in Vancouver, June 17, or the Victoria International Track Classic, June 19.
“If I can run 3:53 when I’m sick then I’m very confident with the shape I’m in for the rest of the season,” Hoff said.
Reynolds also won medals from Lauren D’Agnolo, who was second in the 400m behind with a time of 56.22 seconds, just back of winner Zion Corrales Nelse of St. Thomas More (54.9). Reynolds’ Kelsey Carrothers won bronze in the javelin with a throw of 36.9m, and fifth in shot put, 10.76m. The Reynolds women’s 4x100m relay team won bronze behind Cowichan and West Point.
Reynolds also had solid efforts from Taylor Lyman, who was fifth in a deep field for the 400m, and Lara Irwin, who was fourth in the pole vault, with a leap of 2.3.m, and eighth in the triple jump (10.21m).
It was enough to put Reynolds’ team at a combined third overall in the provincial standings.
Szczawinski won gold in the discus throw with a distance of 43.09 metres, and nearly hit the podium in three events. He threw for fourth in shot put (12.74m) and fifth in the javelin (49.3m).
Mount Douglas won three bronze medals with one from Cassidy Steen, who was third in the 1,500m steeplechase. Francis Abrill was third in the men’s pole vault with a leap of 3.4m and Luke Yakielashek took bronze in race walk.
Mount Douglas’ Lindsay Frederiksen, who won the Island senior women’s hammer by 19 metres over the next thrower, missed the podium and fell to fourth with a throw of 47.28m.
Lambrick Park’s Martin Eckard, also the Island champion, won silver in the shot put with a throw of 13.86m.
Saanich’s Jesse O’Neill-Bains (Glenlyon Norfolk School) won silver in the 400m hurdles, 57.71, behind Vancouver College’s Jasper Schieldel (55.99).
Claremont’s Elija de Hoog was fifth in triple jump (12.76m) and eighth in the long jump.