The Saints Track & Field Team Takes on the Oregon Relays!

The Saints Oregon Team takes a picture at the south end of Hayward Field

On April 15th 2015, six athletes and coaches Mr. Aidan Docherty and Mr. Chris Johnson from the St. George’s Track and Field Team embarked on a five day trip to Eugene, Oregon for the prestigious Oregon Relays. Located at Hayward Field in the University of Oregon campus, one of the top track stadiums in the U.S. with state of the art facilities, this track meet combines the Northwest’s premier High School and College/Pro meets to form an action-packed two day event, gathering thousands of aspiring athletes and enthusiastic fans. Athletes from all around the state of Oregon, plus a few from Vancouver, California and Washington, represented their respective schools with the hopes of achieving personal bests and high rankings among other top athletes in the area. Just by merely hearing about the event made it clear to the Saints boys that the Oregon Relays would be a meet that reached new levels of high-caliber competition, intensity and reputation, unlike any of the meets they had ever experienced in B.C.

The Saints team consisted of the top six senior Track and Field athletes from the school, all of whom were to compete in multiple events:

Quinn Litherland (10): 200m, 400m and Sprint Medley

Roberto Pelayo Mazzone (10): 1500m and 3000m

Kenneth Ng (11): Long Jump and Triple Jump

Chris Bonner (11): 200m and Sprint Medley

Colin Mitchell (12): Sprint Medley

And this year’s track captain, Kennedy Chow (12): 200m, 400m and Sprint Medley.

The first day of the trip was characterized by long hours on the bus, frequent washroom breaks and lively sing-alongs. The Saints team departed Vancouver at 6 pm, sharing a bus with nine WPGA athletes who were competing in the meet as well. After a lengthy day of travelling, the team finally arrived in Tacoma at 10:30 pm, where they stayed for the night. All the boys could feel the excitement building; they could not wait to arrive in Eugene and more importantly, they could not wait to begin competing.

The second day of the trip was a busy and memorable one. After waking up early to travel from Tacoma to Portland, where they chose from an assortment of food trucks for lunch, the team visited the grand Nike World Headquarters located in Beaverton, Oregon.  There, the boys were introduced to Simon Bairu, current Canadian record holder of the 10,000m, and Cam Levins, another Canadian 10,000m athlete, both of whom treated the team to a tour of the immense campus. Highlights included visiting the Tiger Woods building, seeing Nike’s origins and how it began as a small company and doing a brief workout on a beautiful 400m track which was constructed around a forest. Then, the team boarded the bus once again and headed for Eugene, arriving late at night.

After two long days of travelling, the Saints team finally arrived in Eugene. Following the check-in at the Best Western New Oregon Hotel, the team walked to the historic Hayward Field, where all events would be held. The stadium was like none any of the boys had ever seen before; the excitement in the atmosphere and the overall beauty of the environment simply took their breath away. However, the boys had to quickly change their mindsets from admiring ones to competing ones as two boys had events scheduled to take place very soon. Roberto and Kenneth competed in the 3000m and the Long Jump respectively, both achieving personal bests with the encouragement of the rest of the Saints team. It was a fantastic way to kick off the start of the Oregon Relays for the Saints.

The next day was jam-packed with events for every athlete on the Saints team. The first event was the Sprint Medley relay ran by Kennedy, Quinn, Colin and Chris. Each of the boys ran his absolute hardest and ultimately achieved a great result for an event that isn’t practiced much at the school. After that, the day seemed to fly by with a plethora of events happening all at once around the track and intense competition from every single athlete there. Results included Roberto’s PB in the 1500m, Kennedy and Chris’ near personal best times in the 400m and Kennedy, Quinn and Chris’ personal bests in the 200m. Quinn managed to place 8th in the 200m among top athletes in Grade 10-12, despite only being in Grade 10! After all events had concluded, the team went to the famous Track Town Pizza for a quick dinner and boarded the bus for another long trip back home.

Overall, the Oregon Relays was an incredible experience for the Saints team. The boys had the opportunity to compete against some of the best up-and-coming athletes in the state of Oregon and experience a professional and prestigious track meet. The team would like to thank Dr. Matthews, Mr. Lawrence, coaches Mr. Docherty and Mr. Johnson and Mr. Cohee, the athletics director, for their support of the tour as well as their support of the entire Track and Field program. With the Oregon Relays now over, the Saints Track and Field team looks ahead to the BC Provincial Championships, when personal bests will be broken and medals will be won!

To check out more photos from the meet as well as more information about the Oregon Relays, click the link below: