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Beiseker valedictorian makes podium at track-and-field provincials

“It felt like everything came together in the end.”

It's been a whirlwind few weeks for Beiseker Community School student-athlete Ethan Meyer.

Fresh off his nomination as the K-12 school's valedictorian for the graduating class of 2023, the Grade 12 student-athlete put forward an inspired performance at the recent Alberta Schools Athletic Association (ASAA) track-and-field provincials, picking up two medals and ranking among the top eight individual athletes in his age class. 

Competing in Edmonton June 2 and 3, Meyer finished with the bronze medal in the senior boys' 800-metre (m) with a personal best of 1:58.76, and then followed that race up with a silver in the senior boys' 1,500-m race with a PB of 4:10.88. 

A resident of Irricana, Meyer also ran first in Beiseker Community School's senior boys' 4x100-m relay team, which finished seventh with times of 46.08 and 46.06 seconds in their two races. The other members of the team included Spencer and Zach Harnack and Cole Lastiwka.

“It felt like everything came together in the end,” said Meyer, reflecting on his second trip to the ASAA championships, after competing as a Grade 11 student last year. “It kind of felt like my hard work through training, starting last year after provincials, came together. It allowed me to perform and stay dedicated, so in the end, it just felt really good to see how that hard work could pay off.”

Last year, Meyer competed at the ASAA meet in the intermediate (Grade 11) boys' relay, as well as the high-jump, triple jump, and 1,500 me. He placed 15th in the high jump with a height of 1.65 m and sixth in the triple jump with a distance of 12.02 m. A personal highlight was his fourth-place finish in the 1500-m, running his four loops around the track in 4:27.08.

A hockey player in the winter with the Beiseker Blazers and a baseball player in the summer, Meyer said he enjoys the middle-distance running events in track and field the most.

Focusing on running events this year, Meyer followed up from his first ASAA meet by collecting 32.25 points in Edmonton, meaning he finished with the seventh most points among Grade 12 boys.

“I think having a lot more experience knowing what the competition is and having a bit of an indoor racing season as well helped give me experience,” he said. “I found a training plan that worked for me and went from there.” 

“I was definitely pretty nervous when I found out [I'd been named valedictorian], but having that privilege and honour of representing my class meant a lot to me,” he said. “It gave me a sense of pride and I was really happy that I could represent my class and that everyone saw me as a great fit for that position.” 

The head coach of Beiseker Community School's track-and-field program, Shane Hansen, said Meyers' athletic accomplishments in the last two years have helped put the 1A school's track program on the map and encouraged other students to test themselves in various events. 

“He was chosen as valedictorian and he’s been a mentor to many of the students in the school,” said Hansen, who is also the Beiseker school's athletics coordinator. “For our higher end athletes to see the rewards he brings home, I guess that’s inspired a few to follow in his footsteps. We do have some Grade 9 and 10 athletes I’m going to say will represent will represent Beiseker over the next few years.” 

With his completion of high school in a few weeks, Meyer said he's been accepted to attend the University of Calgary next fall as an undergrad in the university's' Faculty of Kinesiology.

He is also aiming to secure a spot on the U of C Dinos' track team as a mid-distance runner. 

“I’ve been on and off talking with the coaches there,” he said. “How they have it set up is they have a team standard for their travel track and field team. With my 800-m time, I’ve met that standard.” 

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