Track and field athletes from across Central Alberta gathered at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School Wednesday for a shot at qualifying for provincials.
Nearly 450 athletes from 51 different schools competed at the Central Alberta Schools Athletic Association Zone Championships in the hopes of earning a coveted spot at Provincials on June 1 and 2 in Red Deer.
The top two athletes in each event across the junior, intermediate and senior age groups in the Central Zone earned a spot in the Alberta Schools Athletic Association Track and Field Provincial Championships.
Hayley Lalor, a member of the host school Lindsay Thurber Raiders was the top senior girl in the individual aggregate with 29 points. She edged out Kaitlyn Swartz of Lacombe who finished second with 24 points and Cassidy Maplethorpe of Wetaskiwin who was third with 23.
Lalor won the senior girls javelin with a throw of 31.70 metres and was second in the shot put at 9.76m, just behind teammate Heather Ritchie. Ritchie won the event with a 9.95m toss.
Lalor said it was a thrill to compete on her home track and said what stood out most on the day was her achievements in a few events that aren’t normally her best, like the 400m where she finished second. She was also third in the 100m.
“It felt really good, it was really cool,” she said of the aggregate win.
“I placed in some events I haven’t been able to move on to provincials in them before. I was really excited to do that in my last year.”
She added that she’s looking forward to when the school hosts provincials next weekend.
“I’m really excited for it. It will be my last anything for athletics at Thurber. It’s the best place to end it is right here at home,” she said.
JR Tabungbanua of Lacombe was the top senior boy with 28 points in the individual aggregate. He finished ahead of Jeremiah Lauzon of Lindsay Thurber and Ethan McDonald of Hunting Hills High School was third in the aggregate.
Tabungbanua was first in the triple jump at 12.00m and first in the 100m hurdles with a time of 15.30 seconds.
Lauzon won the 100m in a time of 11.02 and the 200m with a run of 55.40.
Gus Wetter School’s Devon Johnson was the top junior girl with 34 points in the aggregate. Hannah Wirtanen of Lindsay Thurber was second and Chanelle Bauer of Camrose was third.
Wirtanen was tops in the 3000m with a time of 12:27.84 and finished second in the 1500m.
Brandon Smith from David Thompson High School won the aggregate junior boys division with 27 points, well ahead of West Central High School’s Carson Sulek who finished second. Jared Howse of St. Joseph High School in Red Deer was tied for second with 18 points on aggregate.
Howse won the 3000m and 1500m races easily in his age group and set a new zone record of 9.19.22 in the 3000m.
Megan Hebert was the top athlete in the intermediate girls aggregate with 34 points, ahead of Lindsay Thurber’s Jamie Lalor who was second with 23. Kassy Diegel was third with 21 points.
Jacob Berdahl of Eckville won the intermediate aggregate with 32 points. Illya Omelyanchuk of Notre Dame finished tied for second with Josh Campbell of Lindsay Thurber at 25 points. Omelyanchuck won the triple jump and the long jump with a leap of 6.29m.
Berdhal set a new record in the intermediate discus with a 40.83m throw.
ASAA Track and Field Provincials take place on June 1 and 2 at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School.