West Vancouver athlete Olga Kotelko hurls the javelin at Haley Park on Thursday as she picks up gold in the 90+ age group at the B.C. Seniors Games. Kotelko competes in 12 events including the pentathlon.

West Vancouver athlete Olga Kotelko hurls the javelin at Haley Park on Thursday as she picks up gold in the 90+ age group at the B.C. Seniors Games. Kotelko competes in 12 events including the pentathlon.

Former Trail track athletes return

Two former Trail residents returned to the same Warfield track where they ran their first race and launched their first discus.

Two former Trail residents returned to the same Warfield track where they ran their first race and launched their first discus.

Gabriella Moro and Betsy George (now Rollins) grew up in the Silver City and both were on the J. L. Crowe track team under the guiding tutelage of a legendary track coach and long time track fixtures.

The two athletes now live in the Lower Mainland and returned to Haley Park for the B.C. Seniors Games this week as part of the Zone 4 team.

“It feels great to be back in Trail,” said Rollins. “We had Willie Krause as our wonderful coach and actually Dan (Horan) was on our track team at the time.”

Krause taught Moro how to throw discus and 45-years later, she now holds the B.C. Masters record in the event.

“It’s because of technique mainly, I mean I’m not the biggest person around, but you learn technique and it’s amazing how much you can improve,” said Moro.

Although many things have changed at Haley and Trail, some, like the fact that Horan is the coach of the Trail Track and Field Club and organizer for the Games, remain the same.

The two women weren’t involved in track since university but each had their own reasons to pick up the old baton again.

“When I turned 50, I decided I better start doing something again,” said Rollins.

She soon started running and worked her way up to half marathons before joining a track club two years ago and competed in the Seniors Games in Richmond.

“I was just about to turn 60, and so with no real training, but back in 1971, I did all these events and had a wonderful time.”

While it wasn’t quite like riding a bike, the ladies picked up their old sport with relish and now compete with Canada’s best.

“It’s really, really competitive – one meet, one person is ahead and the next meet the other person jumps ahead,” said Moro. “At this age it’s about trying to be consistent and not get injuries.”

But rather than competing against each other all week, the two ladies will team up for one of the day’s final races.

Moro jumped at the chance to be a part of one of Rollins’ specialties, the 4 X 100-metre relay.

To mark the event, Dan Horan’s son Joseph found an old baton for the team to use in the race, with an inscription that reads, “To Willie with thanks” – fitting for his two former track proteges.

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