BC's High School Athletes Continue to Hang with the Pros

The Victoria International Track Classic, an event with a rich history dating back to 1988, once again gathered a talented field of athletes on July 16, 2023. The meet has been known to foster future international stars, and this year was no exception.

In the men's 400m, the spotlight shone on BC standout Nathan George, who showcased his experience in the event by claiming victory with a time of 46.40. George graduated from Centennial Secondary, went to university at Trinity Western and has represented Canada on numerous occasions on the international stage. Notably, up-and-comer Pishon Haughton secured the third spot on the podium, running a commendable time of 48.03, which ranks him first in Canada's U18 category of the event.

There were two sections of the Men's 1500m and a number of BC high school athletes toed the line. Charlie Mlotshwa placed sixth in a competitive section of the event crossing the finish line with a time of 3:55.57, placing him first in Canada's U18 category of the 1500m. His teammates from the Prairie Inn Harriers Racing Team also performed well in their respective events. Theo Serowka clocked 1:58.08 in the 800m and Basil Parkins, an Oak Bay alumnus and current student at University of British Columbia Okanagan ran 1:57.66. However, it was Mitchell Klassen who placed second in their section of the event, running a time of 1:56.94. The overall winner of the event who came out of the fastest section of the four sections was Eric Holt of Empire Elite who ran a time of 1:46.44.

The field events were just as captivating. Rowan Hamilton managed to improve upon his second place finish from the Harry Jerome Track Classic. He threw the hammer a distance of 75.80m. Adam Keenan followed closely in second place, achieving a mark of 74.48m. Martynas Bajarunas, the 2023 BC High School Javelin Champion showcased his talent with by placing third in the event with a mark of 53.98m, while Andy White, an Argyle Secondary and University of British Columbia alumnus, secured second place with a mark of 65.48m.

On the women's side, the 400m was fiercely contested, and Elisabeth Mcdowell-Mitchell gave an excellent performance, finishing third with a time of 56.41. Finishing ahead of her was Olympian Maddy Price who placed second and the win went to NACAC Silver and Bronze medalist Aiyanna-Brigitte Stiverne who ran a time of 52.72. 

Another young athlete to watch was Alexa Dow, who continued to impress by running a blistering 800m in just 2:06.98. Her remarkable performance earns her the top spot in Canada's U18 category and even when looking at the National U20 rankings, she currently places third on the list. At just 16 years old, Dow's achievements are truly remarkable.

The 2023 Victoria International Track Classic once again proved to be a platform for rising stars and established athletes to showcase their talent and set new records. As the event continues its tradition of promoting track and field excellence, it remains an exciting highlight on the Canadian National Track and Field Tour.