Clad in typical high-fashion track wear, including a Nike shirt declaring she’s “On A Mission,” Zarria Storm waves from the sand of the long jump to a pocket of fans in the crowd at Centennial Stadium.
With out-of-town family here to watch her, the Oak Bay High student lit up the Island Track and Field Championships at the University of Victoria last Thursday.
Overall things went as expected for the up-and-coming track star. Competing outside her specialty, the heptathlon, Storm won three single events, the high jump (1.65 meters), long jump (5.22m) and 100m hurdles (15.37 seconds). She also finished second with Oak Bay’s 4x400m relay team, which includes Bree Neale, Rianne Craig and Heather van Tassel.
“I didn’t make any personal bests but it was a good day,” said Storm, whose three wins are also events of the heptathlon.
The seven events of the heptathlon are the 100 metre hurdles, high jump, long jump, 200m, 800m, javelin and shot put.
Waving back at her from the crowd, clad in leather and tattoos, are Storm’s older brothers. The rock and roll musicians – Kyle Night and Shade Lane – are, respectively, the lead and bass player with rock and roll band HardHoney. They’re currently in studio working on a debut album with a Juno winning producer.
“That’s my little sister man, she’s pretty serious about this stuff. There’s no one more dedicated, top junior in Canada,” said Night, chains dangling beneath long black hair.
“I love having (my family here) it was amazing,” Storm said. “Most are in from Calgary (and) my grandma was in from Creston. It’s the first time in a while having them all (together).”
Like HardHoney, Storm is also looking to take the next step toward greatness. On Friday and Saturday (May 27 and 28), the Grade 12 student will duke it out with Langley’s Georgia Ellenwood for the B.C. heptathlon championship.
Ellenwood’s only in Grade 10 but won the title as a Grade 9 last year, just ahead of Storm.
However, as one coach said about track and field on Thursday, “girls sometimes peak early and have trouble getting back to that personal best time.”
Not so for Storm.
Following the heptathlon and track and field provincials, Storm will train for the July 8-10 junior nationals in Winnipeg. If she makes the standard, she’s off to the Pan-Am Junior Games in Miramar, Fla., July 29 to 31.
“That’s the goal,” she said.
Beyond that Storm will attend school in September. Her choices have been whittled down to one Canadian school, the University of Western Ontario, and a handful of NCAA programs including Oregon and California.
“I’ve left (the decision) a little late in the game but it’s not a problem,” Storm said.
Beyond the laces
– Like her brothers, Storm has the music bug and sings in the school choir. She also plucks away at the guitar and piano, though “its hard too find time.”
– Storm’s best event of the seven that make up the heptathlon is high jump Her personal best is 1.77m.
– Her weakest are the throwing events, shot put and javelin – for now.
– Storm was inspired by Katherine Murphy, the last Oak Bay student to win the heptathlon three years ago.