Bow Valley racers to match speed and endurance at provincial championships

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A trio of local high school track racers will put their speed to the test at the provincial championships this week.

BOW VALLEY – The exceptionally fast trio of Bow Valley track and field athletes are preparing for the year-end winner-takes-all meet – the ASAA Provincial Track and Field Championships in Medicine Hat.

After blowing away the zonal competition at Foothills Athletic Park, Canmore Collegiate High School’s Tabitha Williams and Kahlen Anderson will show strategy and endurance in the senior and junior women’s 3,000-meter distance races, and Anson Minty of Banff Community High School will test speed and power in the junior men’s 100m and 200m sprints.

Rising prospects in soccer, cross-country skiing and triathlon, running is a natural part of the sporting lives of the three local athletes.

“I expect a lot and one of my expectations is to come in and win it all,” 15-year-old Minty said. “But you can never be too confident, so we’re going to have to find out.”

In the 100m zones, the fast-footed Minty took first place with an intense charging approach, recording times of 11.45 seconds and 11.55 seconds over two runs.

The ASAA junior men’s 100m record is an absolutely scorching 10.68 seconds set in 2015 by Chuba Hubbard, who is now running back for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

In the 200m, the Banff Bear crossed the finish line in second place in 23.4 seconds.

This will be Minty’s first time competing at the provincial track and field championships and he will be the sole representative of the Banff Bears. He has participated in provincial championships before for club soccer.

“It’s an honor to represent where I come from and to represent my region. It’s always cool,” he said.

From speed to endurance, the 3,000m zonal race featured all female athletes, including Grade 12 Williams and Grade 10 Anderson.

About halfway through the seven-and-a-half-lap race, Anderson took the lead and never looked back, claiming first place overall at 11:34.

“I’ve been doing triathlon for five years, so that’s how I got into running,” said Anderson, who is part of Triathlon Alberta’s junior provincial team. “I started with a running coach in Calgary over a year ago.”

The ASAA women’s junior record in the 3000m is a fast 10:18.56 set in 2012.

Anderson is confident and excited for Medicine Hat and thinks she can win time among the top juniors in the province.

“Hopefully I can be in the top five,” she said. “And I think I can definitely run faster than I did in the zones.”

Williams finished third overall and first in the senior class in zones, crossing the finish line at 11:42.

During her senior year of high school, it was Williams’ first track meet — and she loved the experience.

“Because of COVID, I couldn’t do track and field throughout my high school career, so this was my first real race and it was really fun,” Williams said.

“My background is mostly in skiing, but we do tons of running as cross-training in the summer and fall.”

The ASAA senior women’s 3000m record is 9:49.07 set by Ellen Pennock, a former U23 World Championship silver medalist in triathlon.

Next season, the English-born Williams is traveling to Norway to train with the British Nordic Ski Team. For now, she wants to finish her high school career with at least one school sport under her belt.

“I want to have a good last athletic experience in high school,” she said, “where I can push myself and get a PB.”

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