Mount Douglas Rams track team brothers Thomas and Ethan Getty are separated by two years in age, and 1,100 metres on the track.
Seventeen-year-old Thomas is in Grade 11 and specializes in middle distance running, his shortest event being the 1,500m. Fifteen-year-old Ethan is in Grade 9, but his focus is on the sprinting distances, the longest being 400m.
“We’re pretty competitive in everything else (non-running) we do,” said Thomas. “Though I guess Ethan would be the better lacrosse player, since he’s still playing and I no longer do.”
Both have qualified for the high school track and field provincials at Burnaby’s Swanguard Stadium on Saturday and Sunday (June 1 and 2), having helped the Mount Doug Rams to second place at the Island championship, behind powerhouse Oak Bay High.
Thomas finished second in the 1,500m and first in the 3,000m at the Island track championship.
And though Ethan was equally adept in the bantam-age (Grade 9) Island championship, he might want to consider competing in a longer race, as on paper, his results improved as each distance grew. Ethan finished fourth in the 100m, second in the 200m and first in the 400m.
Track wasn’t the house sport growing up, say the brothers, but has become it. Ethan plays Saanich Tigers lacrosse, and Thomas did, while younger brother Graeme, 12, competed in running at Arbutus middle school (before the season was cancelled).
Dad did some running as a youth, Thomas said, but for the boys running just came naturally.
“Back in elementary we’d lap the school field,” Thomas said. “I did well but didn’t win every race. But I found liked the strategic aspect of the longer distances.”
Ethan, however, prefers the short courses. “I just seemed to like sprinting.”
There’s no ceiling to what the brothers can accomplish, as both transfer well to the dirt paths of cross country during the fall running season. Thomas has a year remaining before competing at the university level to Ethan’s three, should he go that route.
“Ethan is part of a special group of younger Mount Doug runners coming up,” Rams coach Al Niezen said.
“We’ve got 20 kids going to provincials and half are Grade 9s.”
For Thomas, the biggest challenge this weekend could come from his elite high school track teammates Liam Kennel of Oak Bay High and Ben Weir of Glenlyon Norfolk School. Weir was injured for the Island finals but finished second behind Thomas in the 1,500m and 3,000m of the Lower Island.
Kennel is only 16, but is a threat at the senior level as part of the Oak Bay track team looking to continue its domination of the combined girls and boys team title. Brendan Restall leads the Bays team, which is deep in talent once again. If all goes well, Restall will win the 400m again before graduating to the UVic Vikes next year.
Mount Doug has its top shooters as well, with Katelyn Hayward a lock to win the 3,000m one more time before she graduates. Hayward will most likely forego the 1,500m steeplechase, the very event she set the B.C. record in last year, to nurse a leg injury she sustained during the high school cross country season.
No Island school has been able to match the crew of throwers coming out of Lambrick Park in recent years.
This year Lambrick’s Mason Kereszti is hoping for three medals. The defending B.C. javelin champ was first in the discus and javelin and second in the shotput at the Islands.