Collegiate Debuts and Post-College Successes

It is mid-January which means indoor track, which World Athletics has now opted to call 'short track', is in full swing. Athletes currently located in British Columbia are facing the harsh realities of freezing temperatures, but that has not deterred their racing spirits. Despite the limited prevalence of indoor track within the province, athletes from BC are making their mark both nationally and across the border. Many have ventured to other provinces or even traveled to the United States to compete, while some of BC's best who are enrolled in either U SPORTS or NCAA schools are busy representing their respective schools away from the Vancouver snow. A wave of fresh talent, barely a year removed from their high school careers, have stepped onto the collegiate stage for the first time, while some athletes in their final years of university are taking one last go at it around the track or in the field. 

As the starting gun echoes, a sound sure to get the heart of competitors racing, the anticipation of what to come this season is palpable. But for now let's take a look at just some of the excitement that has happened so far in the early stages of the 2023/2024 season.

The University of Washington is a popular venue for athletes looking to compete across the border. A number of 2023 BC High School medalists took to the Dempsey to compete against some of the top athletes in the NCAA this past weekend at the UW Preview. Let's take a look:

  • Kerlinda Chatwin - Chatwin placed second in the Senior Girls 200m at the 2023 BC High School Track and Field Championships and first at the 2023 South Fraser High School Championships. She holds a personal best of 25.26 which she set at the latter and opened her 2024 indoor season for Simon Fraser University with a time of 26.04, placing 19th in a field of 59 athletes. Chatwin also placed fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 11.04m; her personal best is 11.48m.

  • Lacie Simmons - Simmons placed first in the Senior Girls 100m hurdles at both the 2023 BC High School Track and Field Championships and BC Athletics Provincial Championships with a time of 14.74 seconds and sixth at the Canadian U20 Championships. She was also first in the 400m hurdles at the 2023 BC Athletics Championships, third at the BC High School Championships and fifth at the Canadian U20 Championships. She made her collegiate debut for Alaska Anchorage with a 16th place finish in the 60m hurdles with a time of 9.39 seconds and also ran the 200m in a time of 27.98 seconds.

  • Liam O'Donell - O'Donnell won the Senior Boys 100m title at the 2023 BC High School Track and Field Championships with a time of 11.20 and holds a personal best of 10.71 which he set in the preliminaries of the 100m at the 2023 U20 Canadian Championships, where he ended up placing seventh in the final. He opened up his freshman year for Simon Fraser with a 7.03 second 60m, good enough for sixteenth place out of 42 athletes. O'Donnell also placed eighth in the 200m with a time of 22.54 seconds. 

  • Tyson Carr - Carr became the 2023 Senior Boys 400m Hurdles BC High School Champion by running a time of 58.46 seconds. He opened up his first race of the season for Simon Fraser with a time of 54.11 seconds over 400m.