He may be Hope’s only competitor at the annual BC High School Track and Field Championships — but there will be high hopes for Jacob Willock, who set a remarkable personal best in the javelin event at the Fraser Valleys last week. Willock’s 41.33 metre throw was good for second place in the Junior competition and strong enough to earn the grade 10 student a berth in the open event at the BC championships, June 2, 3, 4 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby.
“It’s the first time he’s been over 40 metres, even in practice,” said coach Jason Fisher on Monday. Willock had thrown a 37.25 at the earlier Upper Valley meet in Abbotsford, to qualify for the Fraser Valleys at Coquitlam.
While Willock’s performance gave him a direct path to the B.C.s, coach Fisher said two other Mustangs could get there through an application process that helps fill up events when zones don’t send their full compliment of athletes.
“Say the Kootenays only send one of their two high jumpers, due to transportation costs — or maybe a northern zone has a jumper who does 180 centimetres and second place does a 115,” explained Fisher. “Technically, the second-place jumper has qualified for the Provincials… but they might not send him.
“At the Provincials, they like to fill up the events, so athletes who didn’t qualify in their zones can apply for those vacant spots.”
Travis Herrling is hoping that his 175 cm high jump — set at the Chilliwack District meet — will be enough to get him into the open event. Grade nine student, Brendan Sullivan hopes to make it into the discus event at the Grade 8-9 invitational meet, which runs concurrently with the open meet. Sullivan threw 18.48 m at the Upper Valleys — then hurled a 27.21m at the Fraser Valley meet.
Herrling jumped 170 at the Fraser Valleys to place third, under rainy conditions but Fisher has higher hopes for him in his grade 11 and 12 years.
“The 175 Travis did at Chilliwack was definitely over his head,” said Fisher. “The record for our school was a 180 by Simon Connell, when he was in grade 11.”
Parm Manoo had notable personal bests at the Fraser Valleys in the 1500 and 3000m runs, with a 5:06.90 and 10:41.60 respectively, placing 20th in both.
Perhaps the terrible spring weather put a dent in the team’s training, which is done without the benefit of a track — but whatever the cause, the team had a poorer result at the Fraser Valleys this year, said the coach.
“Last year, we had a few more athletes and we scored 69 points, for 12th place in the Valley,” said Fisher. “This year, we only scored 13.5 points.”
Other HSS competitors at the Fraser Valleys included Faydra and Lateesha Bobroske, Tansie Pauls and Erika Larder in discus, Kendal Barber in javelin, Zachary Fletcher in the 1500m steeplechase and Blake Deschenes in the high jump and javelin.
The team also took a small contingent to the annual Dogwood Invitational in Victoria, May 7 – 8. Mustang alumni, Grant Damer and Cody Field went along as well, with Damer getting personal bests in javelin and discus, said Fisher.
In the 100m race, Herrling was eleventh, in 12.32, while Jonathan Steberl placed fifteenth, with a 13.44. In the 400m, Herrling came fifth, in 55.85 seconds and Steberl was eleventh, in 1:01.53. Herrling captured third in high jump with another 170 cm and Steberl’s 145 was good for seventh place.
Kendal Barber came fifth in her javelin event with a throw of 21.80m. Herrling’s 35.48 gave him seventh spot and Steberl’s 25.35 was good for eleventh.
Fisher added that some of the team will be taking part in the Jesse Bent Memorial meet in Coquitlam on June 11 and 12.
“It’s a little less expensive, with no ferries or overnight stays, so more of the team could go,” figured the coach.