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Vernon Panthers break records at B.C. track championships

Charlotte Routley, Lyriq Nerling, Chloe Bicknell and Caelyn Fitzpatrick took home 2 golds
Left: Anderson Bicknell finished fourth in the Junior Boys 300 m hurdles. Right: Lyriq Nerling, Charlotte Routley, Caelyn Fitzpatrick and Chloe Bicknell on the podium after their gold medal winning run. (Contributed)

History was made for members of Vernon Secondary School’s (VSS) team at the BC High School Track and Field Championships in Langley on June 8-10.

The grade eight girls relay team of Caelyn Fitzpatrick, Chloe Bicknell, Lyriq Nerling and Charlotte Routley are newly crowned provincial champions in both the 4 x 100 metre relay and the 4 x 400 relays.

Not only did they come home with two gold medals, they also set a new provincial record in the 4 x 400 m of 4:20.21 on Friday night, beating the previous record by over one second. They shaved 20 seconds off their Okanagan Valley Championship time from two weeks earlier.

“The pressure of coming into provincials ranked first in the province in the event did not rattle these girls,” said head coach Sean Bicknell. “They ran a beautiful race with perfect hand-offs, sealing the victory by a significant margin.”

The foursome narrowly missed a provincial record in the 4 x 100 m on Thursday night, crossing the line in 52.58 seconds, just 0.16 seconds off a second provincial record.

“For these girls to come away with two gold medals at a provincial championship is truly amazing,” Bicknell said. “For this team to win in such convincing fashion, for athletes that only do track part time, is a huge accomplishment. I’m so proud of them and so excited to see what they can do in the future!”

In individual events, grade 10 athlete Anderson Bicknell narrowly missed a bronze medal in the junior boys 300 m Hurdle Final on Saturday, finishing fourth in a personal best time of 41.99 seconds, only 0.03 seconds out of third place.

Nerling, in addition to the relays, made two provincial finals in both the 100 m and 200 m, finishing sixth and fifth.

Relay champion Routley finished in a log jam of six athletes tied for 7th place in the grade eight girls high jump with a jump of 1.40 m.

Bicknell added to her relay success by reaching the 400 m final, finishing in eighth place. She set a personal best of 62.38 seconds in the heats.

The junior boys 4x100 m relay team of Anderson Bicknell, Ayden Mcdonald, Coby Therrien and Jonah Lee ran a personal best of 46.56 and finished ninth overall, missing qualifying for the final by only 0.16 seconds.

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READ MORE: Okanagan Skaha School District athletes excel at track and field meet


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Left to right: Charlotte Routley, Lyriq Nerling, Chloe Bicknell and Caelyn Fitzpatrick with their medals from the weekend, after claiming the provincial record in the 4 x 400 m relay, and grabbing a gold in the 4 x 100 m relay. (Contributed)

Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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