Sonya moved to Medicine Hat in 2009 to begin her career in Health Promotion. Upon arriving in Medicine Hat she immediately sought out coaching opportunities in Athletics and immediately began coaching with the Medicine Hat Panthers. In 2011 she became Head Coach of the Club and has assumed this role ever since.
Sonya is passionate about developing physical literacy skills in children and youth. Her love for track and field and working with emerging athletes shows when she is on the track. Whether you are training for recreational purposes, looking to gain that competitive edge or brand new to the sport – Sonya is sure to instil a love for track and field in you.
Outside of coaching, Sonya enjoys her career in Health Promotion, spending time with her family (husband and babies Jayce & Everly), and doing CrossFit.
NCCP Level 2 Track and Field
NCCP Fundamental Movement Skills
NCCP Sport Coach
Standard first aid + CPR
Leo has always loved track and field! Prior to coming to Canada, he grew up in Jamaica and trained in the 100m, 200m, 400m, triple-long-high jump. His high school coach was Glen Mills, the same coach as Usain Bolt! Leo attended the University of the West Indies, where he continued competing. He was twice Sportsman of the year and three times Champion Male athlete. His sprinting knowledge will be a fabulous resource for young, upcoming sprinters. Leo ran the 400m in 46.9, the 200m in 21.2 and the 100m in 10.9!
Leo currently works for Alberta Health Services as an Addictions Counsellor and is busy raising a young family.
My name is Darryl Smith and I have been involved with track and cross country for the past 40 years as an athlete, coach, organiser, dad and administrator. My entire family runs and enjoys the thrill of competition. I have two amazing boys Elias and Gage and an amazing wife Sharleen.
Running and competing go hand in hand for me as a coach and athlete. I run to compete and I compete so I can run. Its the physical challenges that I like as a runner. I want to push myself to go further and harder each time I run.
As a coach, I love the development of the athlete as a runner but most of all the individual. When an athlete truly understands that the competition in not external but an internal battle that is won through grit, hard work and sacrifice. One of my favourite quotes by one of my favourite runners is: “I don’t run to see who is the fastest, I run to see who has the most guts!” Steve PreFontaine
Running has no barriers or limitations. We can run anywhere, at anytime and in any weather. The only limitations that truly exist for us, are the one’s we put on ourselves!
Darryl is a teacher at EBHS, the Panthers Club President and a member of the track community.
*Scott has been coaching with the Panthers on and off since 2009.
Scott grew up in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. After graduating from University of Alberta in 1998 he began teaching. Scott has been teaching at Medicine Hat High School since 2001. Currently, Scott is the International Student Coordinator for the Medicine Hat Public Schools District No. 76.
As an athlete, Scott competed in Track and Field at the varsity level and national level. He represented the University of Saskatchewan and Minot State University in High Jump. Scott competed track in North Battleford winning gold medals in High Jump at the Provincial and Summer Games levels. Attended Jr Nationals in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1993 finishing 5th. Attended Minot State University for Track and Field- won the Indoor State Championship’s clearing 6’6.5” in 1994.
Scott has a love of coaching. He has been coaching multiple sports and specifically track and field athletes helping them to find success.
Scott is married to his lovely wife Ashley and have a beautiful daughter named Peyton.
Amanda received an Honours BSc in Neuroscience from the University of Lethbridge and moved to Medicine Hat in 2017. She trained and competed for the U of L Pronghorns track and field team as a hammer and weight thrower for five years. She is a five-time Canada West Championships competitor and five-time Academic All-Canadian Award recipient. As a Pronghorn athlete, she was a volunteer coach at various schools and club programs in Lethbridge and surrounding area.
In her spare time, Amanda enjoys hiking and spending time in the mountains. She is very passionate about health and fitness and is excited to share this passion with the Panthers Track and Field club.
Hi! I’m Jaelynn Funk! I am excited to join the panther family! I have always had a passion for track and field. I ran sprints, relays and hurdles through out high school going to provincials each year. After I graduated high school I still had the craving to be at the track for the last 5 years I have on and off I have coached track with Hat High. Fitness and sports have always been a part of my life. I am also currently coaching basketball and bocce ball for the Special Olympics, basketball at Herald school and a program called FUNdamentals where we teach children with disabilities physical literacy skills through basic sports. I am the Chair of the Special Olympics here in Medicine Hat and a teacher at Mother Teresa School! I am able to adapt my coaching and teaching to all people of all abilities and levels. I am a strong believer of having a positive growth mindset meaning we learn and grow from our mistakes to make us better. We are always learning, growing and strengthening. I am looking forward to see the children I coach to grow!
After graduating in 2018 Savannah began her program with the University of Lethbridge and will be continuing at the Medicine Hat College in a Paramedics degree. She was part of the Medicine Hat High School track and field team throughout high school, competing in the 100m and 200m sprints as weak as 80m hurdles and 300m hurdles. She competed provincially three times and was part of the championship team for the 2017 and 2018 season and placed within the top 8 for each of her events, placing 4th and 6th in 80m hurdles and 300m hurdles, respectively. She received athletic awards each year for track and field consecutively throughout high school. Savannah is looking forward to coaching and helping other develop the skills they need to succeed within track and field.
Darren grew up in Brooks, Ab. As a family they went to many Southern Alberta Summer Games (SASG), camping and participating as a family. They competed in many family relays but the favourite was ball throw! Ball throw transitioned into Shot Put and Javelin.
In Junior High he participated in the 100m, 200m, Shot Put, Javelin and Discus! In Grade 10, as part of a special track team, Darren switched his focus to the throwing events, then eventually solely on Javelin. In grade 10, he won the Alberta Championships with a throw just under 42m and earned the right to be part of Team Alberta. He competed Nationally in Sudbury, Ontario and attended a throws clinic. By the end of that summer he was throwing over 50 meters and had a pair of spiffy red javelin boots! In Grade 11, he was the ASAA Javelin champion and once again went on to win the Alberta Championship and participate in the National Competition in Banff, Ab.
Darren completed his Ed. degree in 1996 and has now taught in three different school divisions, and in Medicine Hat for 20 years! He is currently a teacher at MHHS, coaches football, wrestling (both at an elementary and high school level) and Track throwing events.
Darren coached the 2018 Indoor Winter session with the Panthers, introducing the athletes to throwing and strength training. He will be joining us at the outdoor track in the spring!
Brent Friesen is an Inter-provincial Red Seal Journeyman Carpenter specializing in woodworking and finish carpentry and has been self-employed for almost 20 years.
Brent played various sports in school but excelled at shot put and discus. He won gold in shot put at the Saskatchewan Provincials for three years in a row in (1977-79) and advanced to the Saskatchewan Summer Games where we won gold in both shot put and discus events. The following year, he competed at the Canada Summer Games placing 5th as well as Nationals, placing 8th overall.
Brent enjoys coaching and has assisted and head-coached a variety of his twin sons’ minor sports in Medicine Hat including baseball, hockey, and football over the past 7 years. Brent enjoys all sports but still has a passion for track and field.
Victoria graduated in 2020 from the Nursing program at the Medicine Hat college. She has been a long-term athlete throughout junior high and high school. She has been involved with coaching a local wrestling team here in the city after competing for many years and is excited to now be coaching track and field. As a repeat provincial level high school athlete for all throws, she has experienced many different meets and competition through school and Alberta games experience where she has made many memories with great teammates. One of her most memorable events was competing in hammer throw which was a very new concept for her but after a few practices and competition it turned out to be a fun experience. She is looking forward to working with the throwers and working towards teaching the building blocks to be successful throwers. She is also looking forward to helping all athletes succeed by utilizing individual strengths and learning from mistakes and through practice. She has a heart for working with and alongside youth and encouraging healthy active lifestyles, she has been volunteering for many track meets here in the city and is working towards becoming an official. In her spare time she enjoys outdoor activities such as recreational sports or activities with friends, or volunteering for community events.
Chelsea graduated in 2020 from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Science with a major in Kinesiology.
Chelsea works with sprinters and jumpers during a typical spring season, but is also a coaching asset to our XC program. She loves to work with Panther athletes on goal setting and imagery, as well as other mental skills to improve their game. Chelsea loves meeting new people in the track and field community and participated as a coach for the Medicine Hat High School team in 2016, as she competed for the team at Provincials in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and Long Jump in 2013, 2014, and 2015. On of her favourite track memories was winning 4A provincials with her team in 2013 and would love to see another Medicine hat team take the title this year. She can often be seen around the Medicine Hat Rotary Track volunteering at meets, handing out ribbons or marshalling, as she has a passion for the Track and Field Community. Aside from coaching, she is working towards becoming a Grade I Track Official this year, has a passion for food and is running her first half-marathon in May!
Payton is currently a student at the University of Alberta and has competed with the Panthers club for many years, as a high school student and an Open athlete. He became involved in track and field at Medicine Hat High School as a long distance runner and had the opportunity to compete at provincials twice for both cross country and track and field. He has previously been involved in other sports such as volleyball, basketball and badminton. Currently he continues to compete for the panthers as well as competing in triathlons and other distance competitions. He is very excited to continue to be involved in track through coaching and to have the opportunity to help other athletes grow and find the same joy in track and field that he has.