Katia Bannister with her junior female athlete of the year award from Chemainus Secondary School, presented Tuesday morning. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Personal best in the 100 metres still leaves Thetis Island’s Bannister short of the podium

Battling a cold and the cream of the junior crop a challenge at provincial track and field meet

A couple of opposites worked against Katia Bannister in the B.C. high school track and field championships at Kelowna – extreme heat and a cold at the most inopportune time.

But the Chemainus Secondary School athlete and Thetis Island resident still asserted herself extremely well in junior girls sprint events against the elite of the province.

Bannister didn’t fare as well as she hoped, but coming down with a cold before she left for Kelowna was unfortunate timing and took away some of her energy – especially in the 35 degree Celsius heat.

“I was having a really rough time up there in Kelowna, not anything I’m used to,” conceded Bannister.

But she still ran her best time in the 100 metre heat and went even faster in the final, but everyone else did, too. The junior age group was extremely competitive, with times just as fast as the seniors.

Bannister made the 100m final with a great effort and placed seventh, running a personal best 12.70 seconds.

It was very close between fourth and eighth place, with everyone finishing in a line during an exciting race.

The 200m heat the next day, “that wasn’t anywhere close to my personal best,” Bannister said.

She finished second in her heat, but only the first-place finishers plus the next four fastest times made the final so she didn’t qualify.

Bannister was 11th fastest overall in the group, with lots of girls running best times in the heats.

There were three clear leaders and then a pack of girls within a tenth of a second of each other in the final. If she was at her best, Bannister feels she would have been right up there in the second pack.

“I’ll work on it for next year,” she said.

Bannister will be continuing to train and compete with the Nanaimo Track Club until mid-July.

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