Category: Track and Field

More high school track

May 11th, 2018 — Dylan Uhrich, above, of Sir Charles Tupper won the 3000, 1500, and 800 meter junior boys races at the 2018 Vancouver high school track meet held at UBC. Below, Quinton Braziller of Sir Charles Tupper in a dramatic finish over Killarny’s Daniel Soliven and Lord Byng’s Ben Paetzel won the 1500 meter senior boys race. Braziller also won the 800 meters. Also below, Annika Austin and Manon Plouvier of Kitsilano were first and second in the 3000, 1500, and 800 meter senior girls races.

Updated: May 14, 2018 — 8:45 pm

High school track meet

May 11th, 2018 — The Vancouver high school track meet started yesterday at Point Grey High School and finished today at UBC. In the 1950’s and 1960’s this meet known as the Vancouver and District Inter-High School Track and Field Meet was the biggest sporting event in Vancouver. A week of qualifying heats at Empire Stadium covered extensively with words and pictures by both newspapers with speculation as to who would beat Percy Williams record, who would be the next Harry Jerome; would it be Don Basham or Barrie Ihaksi? The finals held the following week was a designated school day so every student from every school was there, twenty thousand of them, screaming their heads off. There was a story in the home editions of the Vancouver Sun during the day updating the positions of the leading schools and when the meet was over a 72 point headline with the winning school’s name at the top of the final edition and pages of pictures inside. As you can see from my picture above showing the senior boys 1500 meters running by the grandstands at UBC things have changed a lot since then. Not many spectators, no mention at all in the local news, and possibly a quote from a mother sums it up, “My daughter qualified for the 400 meters but didn’t really want to come because she didn’t want to miss class”. The picture below from the Vancouver School Board archives shows a small section of the crowd in 1950.

Updated: May 14, 2018 — 9:00 pm

Vancouver Marathon

May 6th, 2018 — Winner of the 2018 Vancouver Marathon, Rob Watson of Vancouver, on Camosun hill just before the ten kilometer mark. Zhiling Zheng of Wenzhou China, below was first in the woman’s class. Mike Trites of Edmonton, was the second place man and Margarita Quintero of Mexico, was the second place woman. A gallery of pictures from the race can be found HERE.

Updated: May 8, 2018 — 4:57 pm

Finish line crash

May 1978 — It came to me when I posted the picture of Quinn Anderson crashing on the barriers last weekend that I have a lot of pictures like that in my archives. Here’s a series from the men’s 400 meter sprint at the North Shore high school track and field championships showing Pieter VandenBos from Windsor High School stumbling after a dive for the tape which earned him second place.

Updated: March 2, 2018 — 9:50 pm


Steeplechase June 5th, 1976 — A Nikon F with motordrive and a long extension cord allowed me to get this water jump picture during the men’s steeplechase at the high school track and field provincial championships at Swangard Stadium. It’s a shot I wouldn’t think of doing today with a digital camera; they don’t like wet. The mechanical Nikon F, however, was almost indestructible and never had to be babied.

Updated: August 20, 2017 — 8:46 am

Debbie Brill

Amoco Cairo

May 3rd, 1975 — This must have been one of those busy Saturdays. Get a shot of the supertanker Amoco Cairo leaving Vancouver with 129,748 tons of grain, frame #19, but don’t take too long because I had to hurry off to Swangard Stadium in Burnaby for the Vancouver Relays and get a shot of high jumper Debbie Brill, frame #20. Judging from the number of shots I took at the track meet, only nine, and none of Debbie actually jumping, there was probably another assignment I had to rush off to very quickly. Such was the life of a photographer working for a daily newspaper in the 1970’s; fifteen minutes shooting for every hour driving.

The Amoco Cairo story was a big deal as it was the largest grain cargo ever loaded at the time and the ship had only 5 feet of clearance under its hull as a large crowd watched it pass under the Lions Gate Bridge.

Not getting an action shot of Debbie Brill would normally have been a disaster but the cold day had her wrapped in a blanket trying to stay warm between jumps and that was different enough to make the paper although I think it was the shot below that ran not the one above that’s notched for printing.

Debbie Brill 1975

Updated: June 21, 2014 — 9:52 am

1979 Vancouver marathon

Vancouver marathon 1979
May 1979 — This picture, one of my all time favourites, taken at the finish of the 1979 Vancouver marathon. These two have just run 25 miles and are fighting it out to finish probably 478th place rather than 479th. Amazing.

Updated: May 5, 2014 — 11:28 pm

Vancouver marathon

Runners in the Vancouver marathon on Camosun Street near 33rd Avenue
May 4th, 2014 — The Vancouver Marathon was held today under rainy conditions. Spectators on the Camosun Hill cheered on the serious runners such as Gibson’s Kimberley Doerksen, below, who won the women’s class and finished 10th overall, as well as the not so serious such as James Gardener from Tofino who finished 3rd in the over 50 class running barefoot and Nana Nakayama from Tokyo who ran with a wig. At least I hope it’s a wig.
Runners in the Vancouver marathon on Camosun Street near 33rd Avenue
Kimberley Doerksen, above second from right, from Gibsons BC, climbs Camosun hill.
Runners in the Vancouver marathon on Camosun Street near 33rd Avenue
James Gardener, above right, of Tofino finished 3rd in the over 50 class.
Runners in the Vancouver marathon on Camosun Street near 33rd Avenue
Nana Nakayama (8587) from Tokyo had a time of 4 hours 30 seconds.
Runners in the Vancouver marathon on Camosun Street near 33rd Avenue

Updated: May 4, 2014 — 4:14 pm

The somersault long jump

May 5th, 1974 — Rey Delago from Spokane Falls Community College introduced the somersault long jump to Vancouver during the 1973 Vancouver Relays at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park. The technique was an attempt at creating a breakthrough in the event much the like the Brill Bend (sometimes called the Fosbury Flop) did to high jumping. It didn’t quite work for Delago who finished 8th. More about the technique which has since been banned after the pictures below.

May 6th, 1974 -- Vancouver Relays at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park.

May 6th, 1974 -- Vancouver Relays at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park.

May 6th, 1974 -- Vancouver Relays at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park.

May 6th, 1974 -- Vancouver Relays at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park.

May 6th, 1974 -- Vancouver Relays at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park.

Excerpt from Sports Illustrated July 29th, 1974 …

… the technique is not that new. The somersault long jump had been written about and discussed before the last Olympic Games by Tom Ecker, a coach and authority on biomechanics who is the flip’s No. 1 advocate, if not its modern-day originator. Author of Track and Field Dynamics, Ecker says he never heard of the flip before 1970, when he wrote his book. Since its publication in 1971, however, he has talked to a coach who says he saw it performed in 1947 and has heard from another reader who claims to have seen it in 1925.
Ecker’s advocacy engendered little response until last year, when Pole Vaulter Dave Nielsen, a student at theUniversity of Iowa, took up the somersault long jump for fun. A Swedish-born American citizen who had never been more than a mediocre long jumper, Nielsen improved his conventional best by a foot to 22’6″ with the flip. At a meet in Stockholm he demonstrated the technique for Hans Lagerqvist, the Swedish vaulter, who later enlightened the Germans, among others, by demonstrating the flip over television. Shortly thereafter, 32-year-old Bernhard Stierle of West Germany adopted the technique, flipped 7.5 meters (24’7�”) and somehow was credited with inventing the thing.
While others may have tried the flip before the ’70s or gained more recent notoriety with its use, Ecker was the first to explain its technical advantages through the laws of physics. Ecker claims the flip has undeniable dynamic advantages over conventional jumping, not the least of which is reduced wind resistance, because of the compact manner in which the jumper tucks his body together. The biggest plus, however, is that the flipper utilizes forward body rotation, while rotation is what most hinders the “normal” jumper.
Whether he knows it or not, once the conventional jumper leaves the board, he is fighting “the principle of the hinged moment,” which sounds like a daytime TV serial but is a physical law. It says that when any object is moving and one end of it is stopped, the opposite end continues moving at an accelerated rate to produce rotation. Because a long jumper’s foot is stopped on the board for about .12 seconds while his upper body is still moving, the forward rotation will dump the juniper on his face unless he compensates with the hitch kick, the hang, or some other counteracting body movement. Even with those techniques, which are difficult to learn, rotation is diminished only temporarily.

Updated: April 18, 2014 — 5:45 pm