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New friends and medal haul highlight BC Summer Games for Cowichan athletes

Track and field athletes bring home seven medals from Prince George
Cowichan Valley track and field athletes who competed at the 2022 BC Summer Games. Back row: Makenna Forcier, Annette Blumel and Danika Lazenby. Front row: Tori Johnston, Nova Wedmann-Kent and Alexa Dow. Missing: Ethan Chen. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

For all the success that track and field athletes from the Cowichan Valley had at the BC Summer Games in Prince George last month, the highlight appears to have been meeting and making friends with their teammates from Zone 6 (Vancouver Island-Central Coast).

“It was a lot of fun to meet new people,” said Alexa Dow, a triple gold-medallist in the girls 800m, 1200m and 4x400m relay. “It was fun to hang out with my teammates and cheer people on.”

“It was a really fun experience,” added Nova Wedmann-Kent, who took silver in the girls high jump and bronze in the 4x100m relay, and narrowly missed the final in the 200m. “Everyone connected really well. I really miss it.”

“It was fun to meet everybody from the Island instead of competing with them,” said Annette Blumel, who took gold in the girls 1500m race walk and finished seventh in triple jump and 17th in shot put.

Makenna Forcier, who finished fifth in girls long jump, ninth in high jump and 11th in the 80m hurdles, enjoyed testing herself against some unfamiliar athletes.

“I liked competing against new people I haven’t competed against,” she said.

The BC Summer Games were “a lot more competitive” than previous meets she had attended, Forcier noted. She was most proud of her new personal best in long jump of 4.44 m, four centimetres better than her previous record.

Blumel also recorded a personal best in the race walk, although it wasn’t quite what she was aiming for.

“I kind of wanted a faster time, but I still got a personal best and it was nice to get first place,” she said.

Tori Johnston brought home bronze from the 1500m race walk and also beat her previous personal best by 40 seconds, as well as placing 15th in triple jump and 16th in javelin. Ethan Chen finished seventh in boys high jump and 11th in shot put, and Danika Lazenby was 13th in girls hammer, 15th in discus, and 17th in javelin. Blumel, Forcier, Johnston, Chen and Lazenby are all members of the CVAC Jaguars.