Athletes bring bronze medals home

Two track athletes earn third place at B.C. Summer Games.

The Kootenay zone athletics team picked up a pair of bronze medals at the B.C. Summer Games this past weekend in Nanaimo.

Jake Sebben had a 40-metre javelin throw, which was good for third place, while Justin Marsh picked up a bronze in the pentathlon.

In a field of 12 other competitors, Sebben’s throw—his second-to-last one of the competition—was the one that put him on the podium.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to the top eight out of 16, but I did, I made it by a couple metres,” Sebben said. “I wasn’t throwing very well until my second-last throw, then I threw 40 and came third.”

All the athletics events were held at the Rotary Bowl in Nanaimo. In javelin throw, competitors got three throws to determine the top eight. From there, the next three throws determined the overall winners.

Sebben is a member of the East Kootenay Track and Field Club, and has been honing his athletics abilities, including the javelin throw, for the last few years.

“I did it in school and I liked it,” said Sebben. “Then James—my [EKTFC] coach—started showing me some stuff and he said that I might be able to place in the Summer Games if I could throw 40, so I stuck with it. It worked out well.”

Gregory Hay, representing Zone 6, which includes Vancouver Island-Central Coast, was the overall winner with a throw of over 50 metres. Noah Elliot, his zone teammate, picked up the silver.

It was an encouraging atmosphere, and all the competitors were supportive of each other, Sebben said.

“Everyone was super nice,” Sebben said. “The javelin competition, it wasn’t really competitive at all, we were just kind of having a good time. When the guy came first, when he threw 50, everyone was just super excited for him, cause he might’ve broken a record.

“It was a good time, trying to do your best.”

Justin Marsh picked up a bronze medal in Pentathlon, owning the last podium spot after completing the five competitions that make up the event

Marsh threw 8.8 metres in shot put, posted a 5.6 metre long jump, earned a 1.52 high jump, ran a 3:16.09 1000-metre race, and made a personal best in the 100-metre hurdles at 15.51 seconds. In all five of those events, he came in sixth, third, second, fifth and first, respectively.

“It was all pretty good,” said Marsh. “With first, second and third place, we were all pretty close in the scores. We were all basically the same in skill level.”

Just like with Sebben, Marsh got involved in the pentathlon with a little prodding from James O’Kane, his coach with the track club.

“If you’re an athlete in it, it shows that you’re one of the best of the best,” said Marsh, “because you can do throwing, running, jumping and all of that, so therefore, you’re one of the best if you excel at it.”

Ethan Foster, representing the Fraser Valley won first place with an overall score of 2,551 points. Mackenzie Riddell of Vancouver-Squamish took second with 2,469 points. Marsh rounded out third place with 2,403. Fellow Cranbrookian Dayne Aasland captured fourth place with a score of 2,348.

It was Marsh’s first time at the Summer Games and he enjoyed connect with his teammates around the region.

“It was better than I thought,” said Marsh. “It was probably the best time I’ve had in a long time, meeting all those people from the Kootenays. We all became pretty good friends and it was a very good team.”