Track meets return to Bob Dailey Stadium in Port Alberni

Eirin Skotheim of Alberni District Secondary School catches some air in the long jump during the North Island Championships at Bob Dailey Stadium on Thursday, May 5. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Eirin Skotheim of Alberni District Secondary School catches some air in the long jump during the North Island Championships at Bob Dailey Stadium on Thursday, May 5. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Kayla Heiman of Alberni District Secondary School competes in the discus throw during the North Island Championships at Bob Dailey Stadium on Wednesday, May 4. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Kayla Heiman of Alberni District Secondary School competes in the discus throw during the North Island Championships at Bob Dailey Stadium on Wednesday, May 4. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Lotta Gard of Alberni District Secondary School catches up with a Ballenas runner in the steeplechase during the North Island Championships at Bob Dailey Stadium on Wednesday, May 4. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)Lotta Gard of Alberni District Secondary School catches up with a Ballenas runner in the steeplechase during the North Island Championships at Bob Dailey Stadium on Wednesday, May 4. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Port Alberni is once again hosting full-size track meets after a two-year break due to COVID-19.

The Alberni Valley Track Club held its Bob Dailey Memorial event over the weekend of April 23-24 and drew more than 250 athletes from around Vancouver Island and the mainland. Athletes ranged in age from nine to 83 years old. This included 45 athletes from Port Alberni.

Darren Willis, head coach of the Alberni Valley Track Club, said local athletes had a strong weekend.

“We were particularly proud of our youngest athletes, many of which were participating in competition for the first time,” he said.

The event was a success, despite a few unexpected obstacles. A nesting Killdeer, for example, forced the shot put to be relocated to another part of the stadium, as she found the landing sector for the event offered ideal conditions for incubating her young.

“An event like this takes a lot of people to organize and run,” said Willis. “It can only be a success if everyone steps forward to offer their time and energy to make it a great experience for the athletes. We need to thank all the parents, the ADSS Track and Field team, BC Athletics officials and volunteers from each of the visiting clubs for helping out everywhere they were needed to keep the event running professionally and on time.”

The City of Port Alberni also supported the event with a contribution from the Community Investment Program and maintenance of the Bob Dailey Stadium.

Willis offered praise in particular for the city crew that oversaw the upgrade of the Steeplechase event infrastructure in the stadium.

“The work was first rate and made running the event far easier than it has ever been,” said Willis.

Action at Bob Dailey Stadium continued on May 4-5 as the Alberni District Secondary School Track and Field team hosted the North Island High School Championships. The event drew student athletes from as far as Ladysmith and the north end of the Island to Port Alberni.

Port AlberniTrack and field