Local Sports: Jamie Lalor continues family’s athletic prowess

It seems a bit strange not to see Jamie Lalor on the baseball field.

After all both her sisters — Kelsey and Hayley — play baseball with Kelsey on the Canadian National team and Hayley on the provincial squad. As well her father Dwayne was one of the best players to come out of Red Deer, playing at Washington State, with the Red Deer Riggers and the National team.

“I played some baseball when I was younger but it was never a true passion of mine,” Jamie said. “I spent my summers running and playing some beach (volleyball).”

But Jamie does have one thing in common with her sisters, she’ll be joining them in the Canada West U Sport women’s basketball conference next season, accepting an invitation to join the Mount Royal University Cougars.

“I haven’t officially signed, but last weekend I verbally committed,” said the 17-year-old Lindsay Thurber Grade 12 multi-sport athlete.

Kelsey just finished her third season at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon while Hayley will go into her second year at Grant MacEwan in Edmonton this fall.

The MRU coach first contacted Jamie at the provincial 4A championships.

“They kept in contact after that and while I had offers from Red Deer and Augustana it’ll be an awesome experience to play at that level,” she explained.

“I grew up in a basketball family and always hoped to compete at the post-secondary level in basketball or track and I finally decided on basketball. And of course academics are important as well.”

Lalor will be in health and physical education and will end up in sports management.

Jamie. who is listed at five-foot-seven, came up through the LTCHS basketball program, playing in Grade 10 with Kelsey and Hayley and Grade 11 with Hayley. All three played guard.

“It was definitely a good experience playing with them,” she said. “I looked up to them my entire career and it’s nice to have them around to guide me and help when I have questions. They’re great role models.”

It didn’t hurt that both her parents — Cathy and Dwayne — coached at LTCHS.

Jamie will get an opportunity to play against her sisters — Hayley in the up-coming season and Kelsey the following year.

“That will be fun … something to look forward to,” she said.

Jamie could have also went on in volleyball as she was a setter on the Alberta 4A champion Raiders and with the Queens U18 Club team.

“Our club competed in the Nationals in Toronto, which was an awesome experience,” she said. “We placed 13th, which wasn’t bad out of all of Canada.”

Lalor could play some beach volleyball this summer but will spend her free time in the gym.

“After deciding on basketball I need to spend time working in the gym,” she said.

But first on her agenda is finishing the track and field season.

She qualified for the provincials in four events — the 200 and 400-metres, the 300m hurdles and javelin — at the Central Alberta Zone championships Wednesday. She won the 200, 300 hurdles and javelin and was second in the javelin, which didn’t seem to fit in with the other three events.

“Both my sisters threw the javelin, so I figured I’d hop on board,” she said with a laugh.

Jamie always loved track.

“It’s a great feeling being out there, running as fast as you can and hearing the crowd behind you. It’s a great sport as you’re competing for yourself but also the relays are a lot of fun. You’re not only competing for yourself but for your teammates.”

Lalor, who won the aggregate in the senior girls division, is no stranger to the provincials.

“I competed in the 200, 300 and 400 last year,” she explained. “And the fact they were here was awesome.”

This year’s provincials go June 7-8 at Foothills Athletic Park in Calgary.

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter and member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame who can be reached at danrode@shaw.ca

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