June was a busy month of track and field competition across Canada, as athletes prepare for their Provincial and National Club Championships. The Thunderbirds had a number of noteworthy performances over the last four weeks, however, our performers of the month go to standouts Ella Symon, and Matthew Uliana.
During her first showing at the BC High School Track and Field Championships, Symon placed first in the preliminary rounds of the grade 8 girls 800m, running a new personal best time of 2:25.71. Just seven hours later, Symon came back to earn a silver medal in the finals, running another lifetime best of 2:23.17 and scoring a number of points for her school (Lord Byng). This silver medal and two personal bests in one day came after running 4:55.18 in the 1500m (4th) just one night prior! Congratulations Ella and Coach Stan Jang on a very successful BC High School Championships, and for earning Athlete of the Month honours!
13 year old Matthew Uliana, coached by Don Allemeersch, is a prime example of how hard work and consistent dedication to the sport pay off. Uliana is improving rapidly in the hammer, shot put and discus events. Coach Don credits his recent personal bests to "Matthew's commitment to showing up at every practice; his amazing work ethic, and the additional training sessions he puts in on his own, working on strength & conditioning as well as athletic performance." Most recently, Uliana threw at the Ocean Twilight Series on June 27th, where he earned a HUGE lifetime best in the hammer throw of 41.69m, as well as a PB in the shot put, 12.83m. To put things in perspective, Uliana's recent shot-put PB is nearly a full meter further than his prior PB (11.99m) at the BC Junior Olympics Meet, in Bear Creek Park, BC, on May 21st. Additionally, Uliana currently holds St. George's School records for shot put and discus (39.93m). Congratulations Matthew, and keep up the great work!
Honorable mentions for June Athletes of the month are credited by coach Stephen Abosi to athlete, Saif Zaman - who ran 11.56s in the 100m in his very first race EVER - a time that helped him make the Canada Summer games trials Final at the Jesse Bent Meet. Well done!
Lastly, Thunderbirds pole-vault coach, Gordon Poljak returned to competition last week, earning two medals at the BC Masters Championship in 50-54 years age group:
Gold, long jump, 4.40m
Silver, pole vault, 2.95m
Congratulations to all! #gothunderbirdsgo