‘Ruff’ trip to provincials for Terrace track athlete

Cameron Netzel didn’t do as well as he’d hoped at his final high school track provincials – but he might have helped saved a dog’s life

Cameron Netzel at Caledonia Secondary School June 4. He competed at track and field provincials in Langley May 29 - 31.

Cameron Netzel at Caledonia Secondary School June 4. He competed at track and field provincials in Langley May 29 - 31.

High school senior Cameron Netzel didn’t do as well as he’d hoped at the final track provincials of his high school career – but he might have helped saved a dog’s life.

After being eliminated from high jump – his main event – earlier than anticipated at provincial championships in Langley two weekends ago, Netzel headed to the car to grab his lunch and sort his gear when he heard a dog barking in distress.

“I heard this dog barking and crying and yelping,” said Netzel, speaking last week at Caledonia Secondary School. He and another man who was in the area searched around and found a black SUV with a chocolate lab-type dog inside.

“It was hot,” he said, noting it was 27 degrees without a cloud in the sky. “I spilled water on the seat and within 30 seconds the water was evaporated.”

Netzel said “the windows were cracked but not nearly enough, so I slid my arm in, unlocked the window, let the dog out and went and told someone.”

When an announcement didn’t produce the owner, Netzel called the RCMP – a process that his coach, Dighton Haynes, said led to the police phoning Netzel’s parents to make sure it wasn’t a prank call.

The RCMP and the owner arrived (the owner none too happy about the attention nor the fact that Netzel unlocked her car, said Haynes), with the RCMP and spectators telling Netzel that he did the right thing.

“Had the police arrived before Cameron broke into the car, they would have smashed a window,” said Haynes.

But while Netzel returned to Terrace with a story to tell, he didn’t return with the results he’d hoped.

“I just didn’t jump that good,” he said. “It was kind of disappointing. It was still fun, but…”

Netzel, who also plays basketball and volleyball, placed 11th in high jump, down from the third place finish he’d hoped for.

“Just had an off day,” he said. “I could have done better, but hopefully I still do track after (high school) at college or university.”

Netzel’s been involved in track and field throughout his high school career, one of a small group to regularly travel to provincial meets. He said he got into the sport because of his older brother.

“You know brother rivalries,” he said. “Do whatever sports he did and try to beat him.”

Track team takes on B.C.

Skeena Middle School Grade 9 Tyler Dozzi had a solid finish at track and field provincials in Langley two weekends ago, finishing 9th after placing second in his heat and fourth overall going into the finals for the 1500m men’s junior run.

“He did really well,” said senior teammate Cameron Netzel. “His qualifying time was 4:16, which is crazy for a Grade 9.”

His final time was 4:19.22 – nearly 15 seconds faster than the 4:34.25 he finished with at zones to qualify for provincials.

And he placed 6th in his other long distance run, the 3000m men’s junior, with a time of 9:21.73 – over 20 seconds faster than the 9:43.45 he qualified with at zones.

The third athlete to represent Terrace at provincials was senior athlete Tea Archibald from Caledonia.

She bested her qualifying time in the senior women 100 m dash (14.04 over 14.30) and senior women triple jump (8.96 m final vs. 9.35 m qualifier) to finish 28 and 22 respectively.


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