Monday, July 11, 2011

Track North Wins 3 Medals at National Juniors

Medal Haul for Track North at the Canadian Juniors

Six athletes from Sudbury's Track North Athletic Club competed at the Canadian  Junior (Under 20) Track and Field Championships in Winnipeg this weekend, returning with three medals and 3 top-eight finishes.
Ross Proudfoot nailed down a berth on Canada's Pan-American Junior Games team by winning a silver medal in the 1500 metres. In the highly tactical race, Proudfoot suffered through a slow pace for the first 800 metres, then took control and led the field for the remainder of the race. He fought off several attacks on the home stretch only to be passed at the line by a hard-charging Rob Denault of the Newmarket Huskies. Proudfoot's time was 4:05.15.
See Race Videos:
Ross - 1500m Finals
Ross - 1500 Semi-Final
Seventeen-year old Ashley Huard of Hanmer surprised the national sprinting ranks by winning a silver medal in he 100 metre dash.  Showing incredible poise in her first national championship, Huard advanced through three rounds of competition over two days, winning her heat with a time of 12.3; then placing second in her semi-final  with a 12.12. She saved her best for the final, exploding from the blocks and moving into third place at the 60m mark. She then surged over the final 10 metres to narrowly out-lean Edmonton's Isatu Fofanah by 1/100th of a second. Her silver medal time was 11.95, which matched her personal best, set at Sudbury's OFSAA Track and Field Championships.
See Race Videos:
Ashley - Finals
Ashley - Semi-Finals
Katie Wismer's bronze medal in the 2000 metre steeplechase was another surprise, with Wismer running an 18-second personal best to place ahead of both the gold and bronze medalists from OFSAA. Using a risky but effective technique over the waterpits, Wismer ran in fifth place until the final lap, where she moved through the pack to her medal finish and a time of 7:12.87. Wismer, a Lockerby Secondary  graduate, will compete for Laurentian University this Fall.
See Race Video:
Katie - Steeple:

Jeremy Cooper improved on last year's 11th place finish in the 5000 metres, running a personal-best  15:12.97 to cross the finish line in 5th place. Cooper ran with the lead pack until the final kilometer, where the top-three runners broke from the pack. Cooper fought off all but one runner in the chase pack as he kicked down the home stretch.

Alicia Violin of Hanmer placed 6th in the triple jump, with a breakthrough personal-best leap of  11.46 metres on her fourth round of jumping.  It was a significant improvement over last year as Violin, better known as a gymnast and in only her second year of jumps training, did not make the top-12 final last year. Violin also placed 16th in the long jump with a distance of 5.14 metres.
Matt Taylor, only 17 and competing up an age category, broke into the nation's top ranks by finishing eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 13.06 metres.
Espanola's Caroline Ehrhardt, representing the London Western track club, placed 1st in both the long jump and triple jump, with distances of 5.74 and 12.78 metres respectively. Erhardt will join Ross Proudfoot on the Pan-American Junior Games team.

"It was an amazing nationals for us," said Track North jumps coach Jim Taylor. "It's a large country with excellent talent, and to have six Track North athletes return as national medalists and three others finish in the top-eight is a major accomplishment."