It was his first Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships, and expectations were already high for Lumby’s Jared Sexsmith.
Sexsmith, a member of the Vernon Triple A Track and Field Club, delivered under pressure, earning a bronze medal in the 14-15 boys high jump last weekend in Langley.
Competing in a field of 17, Sexsmith entered the event with a seed jump of 1.80 metres, and that’s exactly how high he went to reach the podium.
“He came into the competition highly ranked, and that creates its own kind of pressure that has to be dealt with,” said Vernon coach Ian Cameron. “In that situation, you can either feel the pressure, or you can apply the pressure, and Jared chose to apply it.
“He jumped better than he has at any competition this year. Even his misses were great jumps. It was fun to watch from beginning to end.”
In just his second season on the middle-distance track scene, Vernon’s Joey Kohut ranked 15th in the 14-15 boys 2,000 in 6:20.43.
Said coach John Machuga: “Joey has been reaping the benefits of consistently putting in the work which has culminated in a breakthrough race (at the B.C. Athletics Jamboree) that got him to nationals.”
Armstrong’s Tyra Gilbert missed the A final in the 16-17 girls 100 hurdles by just 0.02 seconds.
Racing against 20 of the best age groupers in the country, Gilbert was fourth in her heat. In the B final, she finished fifth.
“Tyra is only in her third year of hurdles, and trains on grass and dirt,” said Cameron. “For her to finish the season ranked third in B.C., and come that close to the A final at her first national championships is absolutely amazing. I couldn’t be prouder of her.”
There were more than 1,000 athletes in Langley. Competitors had to attain the qualifying standard for his or her event in a sanctioned meet some time during the season.