His first throw of each competition, says Grade 10 student Nich Newman, is always his top mark.
Newman is certainly prophetic.
The Fulton Secondary student, who finished classes Tuesday, June 21, and will be entering Grade 11 in September, heaved the discus a personal best 35.2 metres in rainy conditions in Langley to win the B.C. High School Track and Field men’s junior discus gold medal.
“It was my first throw of the day and my first one is always my best,” said Newman, who turns 16 on July 5.
There were two groups of competitors for the event. Newman was in Group 2. Competitors get three attempts in the preliminary round to make the top-eight, then get three more throws after advancing to the final.
Newman’s opening toss of 35.2 m carried over to the final and remained the distance to beat, which nobody did. His best throw in his last three attempts was more than 33 metres.
Newman finished nearly two metres ahead of Lheimarc Malicdan of St. Andrew’s Regional High School in Victoria, who claimed silver with a toss of 33.47 m.
“It feels great,” said Newman of his provincial championship win. “I’ve put in a lot of work and training, and I’m really proud of my accomplishment.”
He gave big credit to new coach James O’Kane. The pair have only been working together for a couple of months.
“He’s really helped me a lot,” said Newman, who also competed in the shot put at the provincials, finishing 15th.
Newman began throwing the discus when his mom, Michelle, signed him up with the Vernon AAA Track Club as a Grade 5 student at Okanagan Landing Elementary.
“It was one of those things where you try every sport,” said Newman, who also played on the Maroons’ Junior Varsity football team on offensive and defensive line. “I’m not the quickest or jump the highest, but I’ve always had a knack for the throwing events.”
Newman still works out with the Vernon AAA club and will compete for the club at the annual Jack Brow Meet July 1, Canada Day, in Kelowna.
Anna Melvin of Len Wood Middle School in Armstrong won a silver medal in the Grade 8 women’s javelin with a toss of 23.64 m.
• A number of North Okanagan athletes competed at the provincial finals in Langley.
• Mishka Parilak of Vernon School District’s Vlearn was 10th in the Women’s 1,500 m run in 5:13.12. She qualified for the final by recording the sixth-fastest preliminary time. She was 19th in the Women’s 800 m run (2:32.63);
• Ila Isaac of Armstrong’s Pleasant Valley Secondary was 19th in the high jump with a leap of 1.4 m. Teammate Jocelyn Vigue was 25th (1.3 m);
• Victoria Barry of Vernon Christian School was 23rd in the preliminaries of the 200m dash;
GRADE 8 MEN
• Ayden McDonald, Vernon Secondary, qualified 8th for men’s 100m final, and placed 8th in 12.51 seconds;
• Ben Tishenko, Vernon Christian School, 25th in preliminaries of 100 m, 12.48 seconds; 17th in high jump (1.65 m); 16th in long jump (5.09 m);
• Liam Reid, Kalamalka Secondary, 30th in preliminaries of men’s 800 m, 2:29.36;
• Jaden Overend, Vernon Christian School, 30th in preliminaries of men’s 1,500m, 5:11.32;
• Men’s 4 x 100 m relay, preliminaries, Vernon Christian School (Overend, Isaac Gauthier, Zack Barry, Tishenko), 17th, 48.90 seconds; Vernon Secondary School (Anderson Bicknell, McDonald, Cisko Hove, Jonah Lee), 22nd, 49.73;
• Ashton Singh Takhar, Clarence Fulton Secondary, 23rd in preliminaries of men’s 800 m, 2:08.41; 26th in preliminaries of men’s 1,500 m, 4:27.04;
• Jed Siddons, Pleasant Valley Secondary School, 16th in men’s long jump, 5.54 m.