A high school athlete swept to provincial championships in some of track and field’s premier events.
Nate Paris, a Grade 12 student at Nanaimo District Secondary School, finished first in the 100-metre dash, 200m, long jump and decathlon at B.C. High School Track and Field Championships in the Fraser Valley this month.
Most of the meet was this past weekend, June 9-11, but the decathlon was held the previous weekend at the same venue, McLeod Athletic Park in Langley.
Paris was pushed throughout the decathlon competition by the silver medallist. Both ended up beating the previous B.C. record, but it’s Paris’s total of 7,036 points that will go into the record books. The high jump and the 100m dash – which Paris won in 10.58 seconds – helped propel the NDSS star to victory.
“It was actually a great competition between me and him. I beat him out by about 200 points, but it was fun,” Paris said.
Winning the decathlon first helped take some pressure off for the rest of provincials. Paris started things off by running a 10.77s in the 100m dash in a blistering final that saw four runners go sub-11 seconds. The next day, he leapt 7.10m in long jump to break the seven-metre mark.
“Which is something I’ve come so close to, but hadn’t broke this year, so that was phenomenal. It was probably my best performance of the weekend,” Paris said. “I was just feeling good that day. I showed up [and thought], this is a prime opportunity to jump, and it just happened.”
Finishing his high school track and field career with four provincial championships reinforces his hopes and drive to continue on in the sport, he said.
“I’ve suspected I can do this and now finally, I’ve proved I can do this,” he said.
There were tough times during the pandemic, when he was training and preparing for the kinds of competitions that seemed a long ways off, so getting the chance to race and to win “means a lot,” Paris said.
“The last couple of years I haven’t really had much of a chance to compete, with COVID and what not, so it’s amazing to finally be able to do what I want to do,” he said. “It was an amazing experience to finally get to do that.”
Paris will be competing in the 100m and 200m at nationals in Langley from June 22-26 and starting in the fall, he’ll attend the University of British Columbia and be part of the Thunderbirds track team that competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Also winning a high school provincial championship last week was Dover Bay’s Sonya Urbanowicz, who pole vaulted 3.96m to smash the B.C. record. The NDSS junior girls’ 4x400m relay team of Brea Gillette, Lucy Russell, Lydia Paris and Haley Martin won a provincial championship in a time of 4:09.05. Thibaut Chen of Aspengrove School won a provincial championship in shot put with a 12.55m throw and Ava Gauthier of NDSS won the Grade 8 girls’ 3,000m race in 10:53.37.
As well, Haley Martin of NDSS finished second in junior girls’ 300m hurdles, Annika Lundman of Dover finished second in the 1,500m race walk, Lydia Paris was third in junior girls’ high jump and Kai Rednour-Bruckman of John Barsby Secondary was third in junior boys’ long jump.