Sixteen-year-old Lauren Chandra

Langley runners recognize what doors could open with qualifier

Close to 100 came out for Sunday’s RBC Training Ground tryouts.

Fifteen-year-olds Jessie and Mollie Markin, and their younger sister Emma, 14, all share a passion for track. And all have a competitive enough nature and aspirations of making it to the Olympics.

The three Langley siblings were among close to 100 aspiring young athletes from throughout the Fraser Valley who turned up out this weekend in Langley to show the world they have what it takes to be an Olympian.

A country-wide search is underway to find athletes (between the ages of 14 and 25)with the prospects of being Canada’s future Olympians – and the first of five stops in B.C. occurred Sunday at the Langley Events Centre.

The Markin sisters, along with fellow Langley Mustangs team member Lauren Chandra, 16, learned of the RBC Training Ground qualifying event from their track and field coach, and were in agreement they wanted to try.

Due to weather conditions, they haven’t been able to train as much as they may wish leading into Sunday’s event, but the girls remain hopeful they did well enough on the fitness challenges to impress the selection committee.

They all agree that this qualifier could open some invaluable doors for them.

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They have to wait a bit to learn out how they did, but if they succeeded they could go on to the regional finals in Richmond in early March.

In the meantime, there are similar qualifiers also happening in Prince George, Burnaby, Kamloops, and Victoria. The 100 best performers from across B.C. will then be invited to the regional finals.

Likewise, there are more than 25 local qualifiers also taking place in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

The best of the best across the country  may receive financial support towards their training and competition programs for up to three years.

The standout performer at the B.C. regional finals – like last year’s winner and Langley-trained rower Kieanna Stephens – will be awarded a trip to the next Olympics. That’s the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.