Natasha Miller was golden twice over at the Lafarge High Performance Meet on Wednesday evening at Rotary Stadium, supplying the highlight for the host Valley Royals track and field club.
Miller, an MEI grad and a longtime member of the Royals club, won both the women’s 100-metre hurdles and the high jump. Her performances – 14.38 seconds in the hurdles, 1.65 metres in the high jump – didn’t approach her personal bests, but they were good enough to win.
Miller accounted for one-third of the home team’s medal haul. Ruky Abdulai, an Olympian in the long jump in 2008, finished second in the women’s 100m dash (12.27). Jared Heldman won silver in the men’s long jump (7.09m), while Aisha Klippenstein and Catherine Taekema took bronze in the women’s 100m hurdles and pole vault, respectively.
Wednesday’s meet also featured several outstanding performances in the men’s middle-distance races. Ontario runner Andrew Ellerton won the 1500m in a clocking of 3:41.50 – the fastest time run by a Canadian this year.
The 800m featured a trio of up-and-coming Canadian stars. Keffri Neal, the Richmond Kajaks’ 18-year-old phenom who won the B.C. high school title last week, finished first in a time of 1:50.25. David Holm of Calgary International Track Club was runner-up in the race, but he set a new Canadian record in the youth (17 and under) age class, at 1:50.40. The third-place finisher, Surrey’s Sean Keane, was close behind at 1:50.99.
Sage Watson, also of Calgary International, set a Canadian youth record of her own, clocking a time of 59.00 seconds in the women’s 400m hurdles. In the process, she climbed to the No. 1 spot in the world under-18 rankings.
“There are lots of good kids, that’s for sure,” marveled Royals head coach Gerry Swan.