A local Invermere teen is set to dash into the B.C. Games this summer, testing his mettle in the 100-metre sprint.

David Thomspson Secondary School Grade 9 student Billy Bowen has been sprinting since Grade 4 and says he’s drawn to the thrill of the sport.

“It’s an adrenaline rush, it’s really fun. I can run longer distances, up to about three kilometres, but I prefer the sprints. It’s just more exciting,” said Billy. “The first time I ran, I had no idea I was good at sprinting, but I came first and I’ve been hooked ever since. It was a pretty awesome experience.”

Billy came first in the Kootenay regional final 100-metre dash, but was then unable to attend the B.C. Games qualifying event in Trail. He’s going to the B.C. Games anyway, thanks to his friend and fellow track athlete Justin Grosso. Justin qualified for several events at the B.C. Games, and decided he had too many to do, so dropped the 100-metre event, opening up a spot for Billy.

“It’s really exciting, it’s a great opportunity,” said Billy. “It would be great to win, but honestly, what I really want it just to beat my best time.”

Billy’s current best 100-metre time is 12.5 seconds, and comes as the result of training twice a week throughout the track season (which begins in June and runs to the end of July).

The B.C. Games are in Nanaimo this year, running from Thursday, July 17th through to Sunday, July 20th, and will feature more than 3,200 athletes from across the province.