Grade 10 student-athlete Brea Christie of Highlands

Highlands hurdler making her mark

Belmont secondary track star leads team into provincials

Brea Christie isn’t much for talking.

The Belmont secondary Grade 10 student admits she finds it difficult to talk about herself, despite two first-place finishes in hurdles at the Lower Island Championships and another at the Islands, where she qualified for next week’s B.C. High School Track and Field Championships in Langley.

The competitive figure skater, soccer player, volleyball player and hurdler from Highlands prefers to do her talking in the rink and on the field, court and track. Her coaches, however, find it difficult not to open up about the budding young athlete.

“We started working together and found out she was a natural hurdler,” said coach Dacre Bowen. “It’s a funny thing when someone  is a natural, the process gets way more interesting. The learning curve happens way quicker. She is really intelligent and really coachable.”

Bowen, who serves as speed, agility and track and field coach for the University of Victoria Vikes, has worked with 15-year-old athlete for three years already. He said Christie is poised to perform well at the provincials in Langley and her future in sport is bright.

“When you have someone who can hurdle like she does, move like she does and has that spacial awareness, that is worth a million bucks to someone who is recruiting,” Bowen said. “She will get her education paid for and after that it is her health, focus and the Gods.”

Christie’s focus is on provincials, when she’ll travel as part of a six-member Belmont team including 4×100 metre relay teammates Natalie McFall, Zoe Lum and Tess Olson. Shayla Ross and Evan Szabo will represent the West Shore school in the steeplechase against the best in B.C. Christie alone will compete in four events: 80m and 300m hurdles, the 100m dash and the relay.

“Our Belmont team has very few people on it. To know it’s not a big team and people are getting high results makes me feel like I am representing,” Christie said. “It makes you feel pretty good that you are one of the few.”

Christie said she is driven equally by the team aspects of sport, including soccer, but equally so in testing herself against the field in individual sports such as hurdles. That dedication, her coach said, could be Christie’s ticket to a university scholarship.

“The thing to say about Brea is she is not only a great sportsman, she is a phenomenal human being, a support to her teammates and training group,” Bowen said. “(She has) a great sense of humour, is very intelligent and (would be) an asset to anyone’s program. Some athletes love to train – she loves to compete.”

The B.C. championships go June 4 to 6 at McLeod Park Stadium in Langley.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

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