Kelowna Secondary's Sean Bergman (middle) won gold in the senior boys 2000 metre steeplechase at the B.C. high school track and field championships in Langley.

Kelowna Secondary's Sean Bergman (middle) won gold in the senior boys 2000 metre steeplechase at the B.C. high school track and field championships in Langley.

Bergman chases down B.C. gold

KSS athlete captures senior boys steeplechase at provincial high school track in Langley

With only limited training time on his side due to an ankle injury, Sean Bergman had modest expectations for the 2015 B.C. high school track and field championships.

In the end, the Grade 11 student from KSS was anything but average en route to winning the gold medal in the senior boys’ 2000 metre steeplechase.

Bergman’s time of 5 minutes 55. 3 seconds on Friday at provincials in Langley was more than two seconds better than the runner-up.

Bergman and his coach, Nate Reiter, were both understandably pleased with the outcome.

“With so little training, it was a little unexpected,” Reiter said of Bergman’s win. “Sean ran an awesome race and really performed beyond expectations.”

The performance pushes Bergman a big step closer to a berth at the world youth track and field championships next month in Cali, Columbia. Bergman hopes his name will be included when Canada announces its national youth team on June 21.

“As you get older, it gets harder and harder to make a national team, so this would be huge for me,” said Bergman, 16. “This is my best chance so far and it would mean a lot to me.”

For someone who treated running as more of a hobby when he started out four years ago, Bergman is beginning to realize his full potential.

His latest effort has Bergman ranked as the No. 1 youth competitor in the country in steeplechase.

“(Sean) is an exceptional racer and tough as nails,” Reiter said. “He has so much talent and potential, it would be a big step for him to make the national team.”

On Saturday at provincials, Bergman ran in the 3000 metres and placed sixth.

Meanwhile, OKM’s Adam Murray placed sixth the steeplechase.

In the senior girls’ steeplechase, Mt. Boucherie’s Veronika Fagan won the provincial bronze medal for the second straight year, finishing in a time of 5:10.68.

In junior boys competition, Mt. Boucherie’s Jacob Bourchier, 16, chose an ideal time to run his personal best in the 3,000 metres.

Bourchier’s time of 9:13.86 was good enough for the bronze medal.

“He raced exceptionally well,” Reiter said of Bourchier’s performance in the 3,000. “Rather than sitting back, he was aggressive, he put himself in a good position and did a great job to finish it off.”

Kelowna Secondary’s Austin Sandrin reached the podium in the senior boys’ discus, winning the bronze medal with a PB. Sandrin also placed seventh in javelin.

Alex Taylor of KSS finished fourth in the junior boys 200 metres.

Last month at the B.C. combined events championships, Taylor won the silver medal in the boys decathlon.

Nick Cornell of KSS placed fifth in the junior boys’ discus with a PB, while Joel Aitken of Dr. Knox was fifth in the junior boys 300 metre hurdles.

In the junior girls 100 metres, Knox’s Bryn Walsh placed sixth.

Among other highlights for Okanagan athletes, Vernon’s Hannah Bennison won gold in the senior girls’ 3000 metres in record time, breaking former Mt. Boucherie runner Brenda Shackleton’s provincial mark from 1984.

Martin, Wright leads Grade 8s…

Glenrosa’s Dane Martin and Hailey Wright of Dr. Knox Middle School each returned home from the provincial track and field championships with three medals in the Grade 8 division.

Martin struck gold in both the long jump (5.71m) and high jump (1.80m) and added a bronze medal in the javelin.

Wright captured the Grade 8 girls 100 metres in 13.21 seconds, and added a silver in the 200 metres.

She then teamed up with Jane Blackwell, Paige Watson and Kenaysha Lyder as the Dr. Knox team won gold in the 4 by 100 relay, setting a B.C. record in the process.

OKM’s Muriel Stroda won silver in the 80 metre hurdles and added a fourth in the high jump. Last month, Stroda won silver in the Grade 8 girls pentathlon at the B.C. combined events championships.


Kelowna Capital News