Oak Bay High coach Keith Butler knew his team was capable of earning 160 points going into the track and field provincials.
The sport is like that. Qualifying times are available before the meet and each athlete can see who their biggest competition will be, assuming everything goes right.
And for Oak Bay, it did.
“I thought 160 points would be excellent and we exceeded that (with 166.5),” Butler said.
On the field, powerful thrower Adam Keenan of Lambrick Park was named the most outstanding male athlete for sweeping gold in the shot put, hammer and discus. On the track, Oak Bay’s Brendon Restall was outstanding in his own right, winning two golds and a silver.
“Keenan was exceptional but for Oak Bay, Restall’s performance in the 400 metre really stood out,” Butler said. “To win the 400m, Restall beat Hodson Harding (Gleneagle) and Ben Ayesu-Attah (Heritage Woods), who each finished ahead of Restall the past two years.”
Restall ran a time of 47.39, beating Oak Bay’s 1995 record of 47.84 set by Olympian Zach Whitmarsh. Harding ran 47.53.
“(Restall’s) time is outstanding and, though it isn’t a B.C. record, it’s actually the fastest time in the B.C. (400m) finals,” Butler said. The men’s current 400m record of 46.8 was set in the 1996 preliminary race by Kamloops’ Shane Niemi.
Still in Grade 11, Restall has his sights on making Canada’s team for the World Youth Athletics Championships in France, July 6 to 10.
Too much, too soon
Oak Bay’s Zarria Storm finished second in the heptathlon provincials in the week previous. Storm competed in three single events Friday and Saturday, winning silver in the 100m hurdles, gold as the anchor in the 4x100m relay, and bronze as the third in the 4x400m relay.
Butler thinks she can do better later this season, either at the junior nationals in Winnipeg or the Pan Am Games, in Miramar, Fla.
“She was in California looking at a school in between her two provincial events and (was in Ontario on Monday) looking at another. I think she agrees she left the decision making process for a university a little late and now she’s got too much going on with grad and provincials,” Butler said.
Depth of (track and) field
Also winning gold for Oak Bay were Kira Craig in the pole vault and Patrick Psotka in the 2,000m steeplechase.
In the 4x400m relay with Restall were Liam Butler, Liam Farrar and Patrick Bennett.
Oak Bay’s gold medal winning 4x100m women’s relay team was Kira Craig, Kiah Eccleston, Bree Neale and Storm.
The bronze medal winning 4x400m women’s team was Rianne Craig, Bree Neale, Storm and Heather van Tassell.
Oak Bay won three medals in the 1,500m race walk with Graham Landells taking silver and Nina Briggs and Lauryn Zosiak taking silver and bronze, respectively, in the women’s.
Alex Love won bronze in the men’s pole vault, scaling 4.12m high. Zac Economou threw his javelin 53.26m for third.