Sports

Langley's Ellenwood adds to trophy connection

Georgia Ellenwood won the Sport BC award as the top female high school athlete. - photo courtesy of Sport BC
Georgia Ellenwood won the Sport BC award as the top female high school athlete.
— image credit: photo courtesy of Sport BC

Georgia Ellenwood’s trophy case has received yet another addition.

Ellenwood was named the top female high school athlete of the year at Sport BC's Athlete of the Year Awards at the River Rock Casino on March 8 (Thursday).

"This is probably  the biggest thing I have won in my track career," she said.

"It is pretty crazy (to win), kind of shocking."

Ellenwood, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Langley Secondary, was up against Alexandra McCawley and Emily Oxland, a pair of North Vancouver athletes.

McCawley plays field hockey, basketball and rugby for Carson Graham, while Oxland plays volleyball for Handsworth.

Ellenwood said being younger than her fellow competitors, she did not think she would win.

"I just thought, these girls are older, they are more experienced than I am, I didn't really think I had a chance," she explained.

Ellenwood, who trains with the Langley Mustangs Track and Field Club, is a rising star in the sports.

At the B.C. high school track and field championships last June, she won gold medals in the heptathlon, 100m hurdles, long jump and high jump. She was also named the meet's most outstanding female performer.

Following the high school season, Ellenwood competed at the 2011 Canadian Legion youth championships, winning gold and setting a new Canadian record in the heptathlon and qualifying to represent Canada at the world youth championships in France.

She finished 12th in the world out of 34 competitors.

And at the 2010 B.C. Summer Games, she won the W.C. Bennett Award as the top performer, having won four gold medals in her four track and field events.

While she has won plenty of accolades over her young career, Ellenwood said she was nervous accepting the award, especially since she was not used to having to address the crowd.

"I have never had to make a speech in front of anyone," she admitted.

Ellenwood added it was neat to meet so many of the province's top athletes, especially those with Olympic experience, which is what Ellenwood is working towards.

She is eager to get the 2012 season underway.

Ellenwood is part of the Olympic Development Program, which aims to identify, promote and develop, and retain high performance success for the country's top track and field athletes who will be between the ages of 23 and 30 in 2016. She is one of three Langley athletes — Jade Vaughan and Carolyn Sutherland are the others — selected to the  program.

Ellenwood is aiming to go to the Olympics in 2020.

Her shorter term goal is to qualify to represent Canada at the junior world championships this summer in Barcelona, even though she is still one age group below (youth).

"I am going to try and overachieve and go to junior worlds, which is tough, but I think I can do it," she said.

•••••

B.C. Lions kicker Paul McCallum won the Sport BC Best of BC Award, which was done by public voting. It recognizes a professional or amateur athlete for outstanding athletic achievement.

Surrey United's women's Premier soccer team — which features Langley's Randee Hermus, Katie Thorlakson, Chelsey Hannesson and Natalie Halcro  — won in the category of team of year. They won the Canadian national championship in October.

The two other finalists were the Trinity Western Spartans men's volleyball team and the UBC women's volleyball team, which both won CIS national championships in 2011, and repeated the feat in 2012.

The UBC team features Rayel Quiring, a fifth-year graduating senior who won five CIS titles during her university career.

Another Langley Secondary and Mustangs athlete, Braedon Dolfo, and former Trinity Western Spartans men's basketball player Jacob Doerksen, were both finalists in their categories.

The visually-impaired Dolfo was in the Athlete with a Disability Award category, while Doerksen was up for university athlete of the year.

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