BC is a Throws Powerhouse: Big Kahuna Throwsfest Preview

The 7th annual Richard Collier Big Kahuna Throwsfest will be taking place at Richmond's Collier Throws Centre May 20/21. Hosted by the Kajaks, this throws focused meet is a great opportunity for British Columbia's throwers to hit some big marks. 

British Columbia is known to produce some high-level throwers. Many have gone on to have successful collegiate careers and some have gone as far as representing Canada on the Canadian National Team.

Below are just some of these athletes. 

Camryn Rogers, Liz Gleadle and Adam Keenan easily come to mind. 

Rogers is the 2022 World Silver Medalist and Commonwealth Games Champion, 2018 World U20 Champion, three-time NCAA Champion and placed 5th at the 2020 Olympics in the hammer throw. Gleadle is a three-time Olympian, Canadian Record Holder, Pan American Games Gold (2015) and Silver (2019) Medalist and four-time NAIA Champion in the javelin. Keenan too has numerous accolades to his name including: 2011 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships Bronze Medalist, 2014 NACAC U23 Bronze Medalist and 2018 NACAC Championships Bronze Medalist in the hammer throw.

Others include:

Rowan Hamilton

Hamilton specializes in the hammer throw with a personal best of 75.98m. In high school he competed for Sardis Secondary where he won various titles at the BC High School Track and Field Championships and made his way onto the Legion National team. He brought his talents to the University of British Columbia, where so far he has become a two-time NAIA champion, and shattered the NAIA hammer throw record from 1992 of 70.46m with a mark of 74.21m. He is currently in his final year with the Thunderbirds. Hamilton is also a Canadian National Team member, having qualified for Pan Am U20 Championships in 2017. He also competed at the 2022 World Championships and the Commonwealth Games last summer.

Kaila Butler 

Having competed for Terry Fox Secondary, Butler threw her way to Bowling Green State University, a NCAA Division I school. Recently her talent at hammer throw has led her to becoming a MAC champion, NCAA All-American, Canadian Nationals Bronze Medalist, and a member of the Canadian National Team. She represented Canada at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and NACAC finishing 8th and 5th respectively. 

Ethan Katzberg 

Former BC high school hammer thrower Ethan Katzberg has gone on to represent Canada at the World Athletics U20 Championships in 2021 and 2022 Commonwealth Games where he won silver. He recently broke his own Canadian U23 record in hammer throw (77.12m) in Kamloops, throwing a new personal best of 78.41m; this was a world leading throw. 

Chanell Botsis

A university of Connecticut alum, Botsis is a three-time Canadian National Team member. At the 2022 Canada Summer Games she broke the games record with a throw of 61.44m in the hammer throw. She holds a personal best of 63.44m in the event. 

No doubt this year's Throwsfest will yield some impressive results. Many of British Columbia's up and coming throwers have entered, and as the season begins to heat up, there are some athletes to keep an eye on. 

Athletes to watch

Lauren Curtis 

Curtis recently won the U18 Legion National Championship in the hammer throw with a mark of 53.36m. She has lifetime bests of 56.35m in the 3kg Hammer and 50.24 in the 4kg Hammer. She competed for Maple Ridge Secondary earlier this season at the Oregon Relays throwing 48.60m, placing first. We can expect to see great things from this athlete as we continue into the 2023 season. 

Elise Drake

Following close behind Curtis, Drake was the silver medalist at the 2022 U18 Legions National Championship having thrown a mark of 52.91 meters. She also competed in the U20 category at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Langley last June placing 4th. Earlier this season she competed at the Oregon Relays placing second with a throw of 46.17m behind Curtis. A rivalry between Drake and Curtis could be brewing, and we can look forward to seeing these two up and comers face off once more at this year's Throwsfest. 

Riley Malkoske 

Riley Malkoske is a javelin thrower from Maple Ridge with a best of 50.28m for the 700g, and 47.50 for 800g. His best under the 800g javelin was achieved earlier this season at the SFU High Performance trials where he placed 4th. The Throwsfest will be another great opportunity for this athlete to chase new bests as the BC High School Track and Field Championships are now just weeks away. Be sure to watch for him this weekend as he prepares for the upcoming championship.