Spruce Capital meet returns to Masich Place Stadium

Masich Place Stadium will be a hub of running, jumping and throwing activity this weekend.

For the first time in three years, since the stadium was closed for renovations, the Prince George Track and Field Club (PGTFC) is hosting its annual Spruce Capital meet Saturday and Sunday.

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Ninety athletes have signed up for the meet, down considerably from the 260 who attended the North Central zone high school meet in May.

'It's our longest meet but we don't have as many entrants as we'd like, it's hard to get everybody back into it," said PGTFC head coach Elena Thomas. "We haven't had this meet for three years so it's a little tough."

Club athletes are using this meet as a tune-up for bigger meets on the BC Athletics calendar like the Jack Brow International in Kelowna, June 28-30; the B.C. Athletics Jamboree in Kamloops, July 5-7; and the B.C. Junior Development championships in South Surrey, July 19-21. The junior development meet is a qualifier for the Canadian Legion Youth Track and Field Championships in Sydney, N.S., Aug. 9-11.

For PGTFC senior athletes Max Schonewille and Jordan Bax, both graduating Grade 12 students, this will be their last hometown meet.

"Unless they come back in the summers as adult athletes, this is their last meet at the track, which is kind of too bad, they just got back into the track," said Thomas. "I'm sure they're excited about participating."

Among the 90 entrants is a group of unattached athletes from Bella Coola, on the central coast west of Williams Lake, a village which lacks a track and field facility.

The Spruce Capital meet will give PGTFC throws coach Cassandra O'Brien (nee Wiebe) her first chance to compete since her high school days at Correlieu in Quesnel.

The meet starts at 9 a.m. both days, with racing scheduled to be finished by 1:30 p.m. and field events completed by 3 p.m. The 100-metre heats will be run Saturday at 11 a.m. with finals to follow at 1 p.m. Sunday's schedule features the 1,500 race walk, 200m and 60m races and distance hurdles (200m 300m, 400m), as well as the 4 X 100 relays and family relay.

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