A sweet victory

Katie Brickman
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Peacock wins first team title since 1998

The wait for another city title is finally over for Peacock Collegiate.

It has been 16 years since Peacock athletes have been able to hoist the team trophy over their heads.

That changed on Wednesday as Peacock came in first place in the team standings at the Moose Jaw section track and field meet.

The sunburnt athletes dressed in orange and green celebrated with a team picture at the finish line at Gutheridge Field and then took a victory lap around the track.

“These kids are so deserving,” stated Renee Verge, track coach. “It has been a banner year, athletically for Peacock —both within our leagues and provincially.

“To end off with a city championship that we haven’t had since 1998 in a sport that requires the largest amount of kids to win, is just such a fitting ending athletically to what has happened this year.”

Peacock had 62 athletes that competed at the event, which helped them reach 1,107 total points to take the trophy away from Vanier who has won for the past seven straight years.

“Once we saw our numbers, we knew we had a tough start with the weather, but we just told the kids to stick with it,” said Verge. “They did and when we had 62 kids ready to go today, I knew we had a really good shot and they knew they had a good shot.”

This wasn’t just an accomplishment for the athletes and the coaches. As the day wrapped up, Verge was thinking of someone else who would be very proud of what the track and field athletes.

“This means a lot. Jim Arnott was a legendary teacher at our building and he gave so much to the track program,” she said. “He isn’t with us anymore, but he gave so much to Peacock track and it means a lot to me because I remember him and I have tried to pass that legacy onto the kids. To be part of something that hasn’t happened for 16 years is very special and I have tried to instill that they were part of that.”

Arnott died in 2007 after teaching for 32 years in Glenavon, Mortlach, Rouleau and Moose Jaw.

“I think it means more to the coaches than it does to us,” said senior Blake Olsen.

It was a great way to finish a senior year for Courtney Hunter, who finished first in two events and second in two events as well as a second overall in the senior girls division.

“It was great. I worked really hard so it is nice when your hard work pays off and you can see it. There is no other better feeling,” she said. “It is awesome because we cheer each other on. You win in a lot of different ways, individually and as a team. It is a great feeling.”

It wasn’t just the coaches they helped their athletes excel, but the seniors and the commitment from all the athletes to stick with their programs.

“We have 62 very committed kids and committed to the sense that they picked up events that they may not have excelled in, but they will pick up points,” she said. “We really promoted that team feeling even though track is an individual event. It really takes that type of effort to win that team title.”

Vanier finished second in the team combined scores with 730.5 points and Central was third with 598 points. Riverview was fourth with 67.5 points and Cornerstone had 54 points.

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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