NANAIMO — A local brother and sister duo are heading to Manitoba this week for the National Youth Track and Field Championships.
Throwers Jessica and Ethan Katzberg made Team BC after strong showings at both the BC Athletics Jamboree and the BC High School Track and Field Championships.
At the high school championship both earned bronze medals in the hammer throw and the results at the BC Athletics Jamboree were even better.
15-year-old Ethan won gold with a throw of 56.38 metres, and 17-year-old Jessisca took the silver medal with a distance of 51.16m.
It was the Jamboree results that earned them the right to head off to Brandon, Manitoba this week with high expectations.
Ethan is looking to build on his recent successes.
"Everyone expects to win and hopes to win and that's my goal. I'm just going to do my best."
Jessica is excited about the opportunity to represent her home province.
"Hopefully I'll podium at nationals and there's a good chance I'll be able to do that," said Katzberg.
The two siblings are always trying to one up each other according to Ethan, but it's that competition that drives them to be better.
Jessica says they are always going back and forth.
"We trash talk each other a bit. But in the end we want each other to do well," says the older Katzberg. "There's definitely always a constant banter going between us."
The two are coached by their father Bernie and both athletes see that as an advantage.
In a typical relationship with a coach, Jessica says sometimes it's not easy to truly speak your mind.
But that's not the case working with her father.
"It's fun because we don't go home and forget about everything. We still watch videos and talk about it (competition and training). We're able to work through things at home as well," said Katzberg.
The hammer throw takes place this Sunday for both Ethan and Jessica.
Ethan throws at 10:30 a.m. and Jessica has her opportunity for a medal at 1:30 p.m.
In just a few weeks Jessica will be going into Grade 12 at John Barsby Secondary and Ethan will be heading into Grade 10.
There aren't any large meets left for them on the 2017 schedule after nationals but if the Katzberg's continue to show their current form they'll be among the best in their respective age groups in 2018.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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