Joyce wins BC Track award

Sadie Joyce took home a BC Athletics Junior Development Award for beating the BC Athletics standard in the 60-metre sprint last summer.

Trail Track and Field Club (TTFC) athlete Sadie Joyce took home a BC Athletics Junior Development Award for beating the BC Athletics standard in the 60-metre sprint last summer.

Joyce attended the BC Awards banquet at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver earlier this month, where she was presented the award by National Track and Field Team athlete, Kyle Nielson.

“It’s been quite a while since we had someone win one,” said TTFC coach Dan Horan. “The standards for qualifying are pretty high, but Sadie had a great race and she deserves it.”

To receive an award, an athlete must meet or surpass a difficult age-group standard set each year by BC Athletics. For Joyce, the 11-year-old girls’ standard for the 60-metre sprint was set at 8.84 seconds for 2015, and Joyce squashed that time with an impressive 8.74-second sprint at the BC Junior Development championships in Kamloops in July.

“That’s pretty good,” said Horan. “There were some really good athletes. In the race she beat the standards, she finished fourth in the heat.”

The standards are based on an average of the top-three results over the previous 10 years, so it was somewhat of an anomaly to see six girls in the province run faster than the standard and five of them do it in the same race.

Joyce’s time was just 0.03 seconds off the all time Top Ten List. She also just missed the standard in the high jump in Kamloops. But in all, it was a great season for Joyce, who won four gold medals at her home Legion Track meet in early May, and followed that up with another four-gold performance at the Centennial Meet in Kamloops May 26.

Meanwhile, eight TTFC athletes qualified for BC Athletic crests, including Sage Stefani, Ayla Ferguson, Ava Farias and Maya Amantea, while four of the eight athletes also placed in the Top-10 performance list including: Joyce who placed fourth in 11 year old girls 60m, 100m, long jump and high jump, Jendaya Shields was fifth in both 11-year-old girls discus and javelin, and sixth in shot put. Ella Phillips-Frisk came fifth in nine-year old girls 60-m hurdles, and Finley Kinghorn was seventh in both 12 year old boys hammer throw and javelin.

The standards are difficult to meet, and Horan hasn’t had any of his athletes win a BC Athletics Junior Development award since his son Jeffery Horan accomplished the feat back in 2008. The longtime TTFC coach doesn’t focus on the BC Athletic standards in training, rather, he encourages his athletes to compete against themselves in an effort to constantly improve.

“What I do is keep records of the races we time, and try to have them (the athletes) compete to break their own personal best times. So if you can keep breaking your personal best then maybe you will qualify for one of these awards.”

BC Athletics has seen a number of its athletes go on to become world-class competitors, such as Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops who won a bronze in the shot put at the 2008 Olympic Games.

The Trail Track and Field Club practices Tuesday and Thursday at the Willie Krause Field House from 6-8 p.m. through the winter months.