Local athlete headed to Texas

After a successful stint as one of the Peninsula’s best track athletes Danielle Delage is starting a new chapter

Danielle Delage practices shot put at the Oak Bay track on June 11. Delage is moving to Texas in August to pursue her track career.

Danielle Delage practices shot put at the Oak Bay track on June 11. Delage is moving to Texas in August to pursue her track career.

After a successful stint as one of the Peninsula’s best track athletes, Danielle Delage, 19, is starting a new adventure this fall.

Delage, who recently competed in Calgary for the senior track nationals, is headed to the University of Texas at Arlington on a scholarship she was awarded for her achievements in several different events.

“I’m excited, but it’s definitely going to be a huge change so I’m a little nervous about that,” said Delage, who contacted the university herself about the possibility of attending on scholarship after a friend had recommended the school.

Delage has been training in running since elementary school where she began running cross country at Keating elementary school. Since then, she competed with the Peninsula Track and with school teams through Stelly’s secondary in events like high jump, long jump and sprints. Delage is now in her last month of training with coach Ron Parker at the Oak Bay-based Pacific Athletics Club before she heads off to Texas.

“The hot weather, a brand new environment, a large team to train and compete with, it’s all going to help her. It’s a good accomplishment,” said Parker.

Delage is currently competing in heptathlon, which includes 100 m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 m, long jump, javelin throw and 800 m events spread out over two days.

“She’s trained [in heptathlon] for just about six months so it’s a good achievement for her,” said Parker. “She was a 400 m hurdler and 400 m sprinter and then she decided she wanted to do heptathlon so I changed her training and started teaching her what she needed to know. Now she’s ranked in the top five in Canada.”

Although Delage is nervous for the move from the Peninsula, she says she’s excited to see what Texas has to offer.

“I know I’ll get lots more practice there than I do here because of the weather. Competitions will be more intense and more professional in comparison, so I think it will be a great experience.”

Delage will compete in her last heptathlon event of the season at the Canadian Junior Track and Field Championships July 27, 28 and 29 in Winnipeg.