BC Athletics

BC Senior Track and Field Committee
Middle/Long Distance Report
For BC Athletics Annual General Meeting - January 2006

The 2005 competitive year produced some successes and some concerns for the middle and long distance disciplines within the province of British Columbia.

As in the past this discipline had a number of fixtures in which athletes could compete at a level that was suitable to their talent. Four international meets (Victoria International, Harry Jerome Meet in Vancouver, Richmond Kajaks International, Abbotsford International) were held that provided athletes in this discipline a number of high-level competitive opportunities. In addition, the series of Hershey Harrier and Victoria High Performance meets offered graded competitive opportunities for athletes. Add to that the usual BC Championship meets, club sponsored fixtures and a series of invitational high school meets meant that there were ample in province competitions offered in this discipline.

British Columbia continues to be the province of choice for many of Canada's elite middle distance runners. Eight BC Athletics registered athletes in this discipline (Diane Cummins, Gary Reed, Aimee Teterus, Katie Vermeulen, Courtney Inman, Ryan Hayden, Rebecca Johnstone, Malindi Elmore) are federally carded for 2006. Two other athletes (Emillie Mondor, Julia Howard) spend a good deal of the year training and competing in this province, which means that 30% of Canada's carded athletes in the discipline are from our province.

The discipline had a number of medal performances at major Canadian Championships. At the Canadian 10-k Track Championships, Mark Bomba and Jeremiah Ziak were first and second respectively. In the Canadian Jr. Championships Kristen Kolstad was 3rd in the 1500m, Geoff Martinson was 3rd in the 800m and Chris Winter was 2nd in the 3000m SC. At the Canadian Senior Championships Diane Cummins and Aimee Teteris were 1st and 2nd respectively in the women's 800m, Gary Reed was 1st in the men's 800m, Kate Vermeulen was 3rd in the women's 1500m and Meredith McGregor was 2nd in the women's 3000m SC. At the Canadian Legion Championships Stephanie Tremholm was 2nd in the midget girls' 1500m and third in the 800m. Angela Shaw was first in the juvenile 800m, Jessica Smith was first in the 1500m, Justin Marple-Bird was 1st in the 1500m and Chris Gordon was 2nd in the 800m. Diane Cummins, Aimee Teteris and Kate Vermuelen have been named to Canada's Commonwealth Games team.

Two athletes had outstanding international achievements. Gary Reed was a finalist in the 800 metres at the World Track and Field Championships and en-route established a Canadian record for the event. Justin Marple-Bird was a finalist in the 1500m at the World Youth Championships and at a late season meet he ran 3:47.4 for 1500 metres; an outstanding performance for a 17-year old.

BC is showing fine strength in the midget and juvenile women middle distance events. Many quality performances were produced by a number of young female athletes in the 800 and 1500m events and this is very encouraging and bodes well for the future.

On the other hand, we do not seem to be producing any depth for events longer then 1500 metres. The women's longer distance events are particularly lacking in quality performances and have a dearth of competitors. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer that would remedy this situation.

It was also concerning that a number of athletes who were eligible for the BC Canada Games team declined to be members of this team. The BC Government takes Canada Games and Western Canada Games participation and performances very seriously. We rely on government funds for our sport to survive and we must get the message through to all eligible athletes the importance of making themselves available for these competitions.

In the past two years there have been several middle distance level-2 certification courses offered. However, we are probably in need of a level-3 certification clinic for this discipline. Unfortunately, we have waited a number of years for Athletics Canada to implement the new system of certification but to date little progress has been made in this regard. We feel that as a branch we should now march forward and conduct our own Level 3 designed course using a practical presentation that hopefully might come close to what Athletics Canada has in mind.

This committee has made themselves available for a number of meetings and most of our members have traveled many miles to be present at these meetings. The committee has deliberated over fixture dates, the awarding of BC Government Athlete Assistance funds, establishing criteria and then selecting athletes and coaches for BC teams, establishing criteria for awards and a number of other activities that are crucial to the successful operation of the sport. We would like to thank Brian McCalder, Ron Bunting and Peter Ogilvie, who now as an Alberta resident is experiencing the true meaning of winter, for the leadership and guidance they have provided to this committee.

Respectively submitted: Robert Connors, Sue Northey, Graeme Fell, Allen Johnston, Gerry Swan