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St. Martin de Porres wins first provincial track and field medal

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 11:08 am

St. Martin De Porres Grade 10 student Isiah Richards, left, held up his bronze medal while standing alongside fellow Alberta Provincial track and field meet competitor Maggie McFarlane.
St. Martin De Porres Grade 10 student Isiah Richards, left, held up his bronze medal while standing alongside fellow Alberta Provincial track and field meet competitor Maggie McFarlane.
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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Not only did St. Martin de Porres School make history this year by sending a pair of its track and field athletes to the Alberta Provincial High School Championships, but the Kodiaks also won its first provincial medal in Calgary on June 6 and 7 at Foothills Athletic Park.

Grade 10 student Isiah Richards sped his way to a bronze medal in the Junior Boys’ 400-metre race on June 7, as he raced around the track in a time of 52.48 seconds.

“Going into the meet, I really wanted to get a medal, and I was really happy about getting one,” Richards said.

“To be honest though, I thought I could have gone a little bit faster than I did in that race,” he added. “I didn’t get a very good start at all off of the line, and that is something I’m going to be working hard on with my club team (the Airdrie Aces) and for next year when I hope to run in the meet again.”

A day earlier (June 6), Richards finished in fourth place in the 200-metre race with a time of 23.04 seconds.

“I thought I did a really good job in that race, considering what the rest of the field was like,” Richards said.

“The guys who ended up finishing at the top were really fast runners, and I was able to keep pace with them,” he added. “So I was pretty happy about that.”

Also representing the Kodiaks track and field team was Grade 12 student Maggie McFarlane, who is a member of the Airdrie Aces club team as well.

McFarlane took part in the Intermediate Girls’ triple jump event on June 7, where she came away with a fifth-place finish with a leap of 10.52 metres.

“I was a little bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to get a medal, but I was still pretty pleased with how I performed,” McFarlane said. “I was able to beat my previous personal best jump of 10.38 metres, and I was only eight centimetres off of the girl who finished in second place (Chantel Park of Lacombe), which isn’t that much of a gap at all.”

With the Kodiaks track and field program only in its third year, Coach Matthew Townley-Smith said having students not only compete but winning a medal at the provincial level should bode well for its future.

“For a school like ours who just had 17 students on our team compared to some of the bigger schools in Calgary who have nearly 150 students at a zone meet, to have two students compete at the provincials is a huge accomplishment,” Townley-Smith said.

“The biggest thing for us now is to have more students come out and try track and field and have that experience,” he added.

“Hopefully we can build off of this as a program.”


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