Saint John track athletes take centre stage
SAINT JOHN – Six New Brunswick athletes, five of whom belong to the Saint John Track Club, captured medals at the National Legion Track and Field Championships in Charlottetown this past weekend.
“We are very proud of all our athletes,” said Bill MacMackin, director of Athletics New Brunswick and president of the SJTC.
“Six medals is our best performance in many years and with the great number of personal bests and provincial records, it shows that New Brunswick track and field athletes are on the rise.”
Nick MacMackin of Quispamsis snagged the club’s first medal of the weekend, setting a new provincial record in the under-18 1500-metre race with a blistering time of three minutes, 55.51 seconds to take home silver.
“The top ranked guy took it out right from the beginning at a pretty quick pace so everyone dropped in behind him in a pretty tight pack,” Nick MacMackin said.
“On the final lap, it kind of came down to who had the most left,” he said. “One of my friends from Nova Scotia and I actually passed him before my friend pulled away from me in the final straight.”
Victoria LeBlanc of Saint John added another medal for the club on Friday, tying for silver in the under-16 pole vault with a clearance of 2.4 metres.
On Saturday, Luisa Schwarz of Fredericton kept things going, earning a silver medal in the under-16 girls 2000-metre in 6:34.89, a new provincial record.
With two medals already in their pocket, the Saint John Tack Club continued to shine after Josh Shanks of Chance Harbour took home bronze in the under-18 3000-metre race with a time of 8:51:82.
On the third and final day of the meet, Paul Tremblay of Saint John captured the club’s fourth medal of the weekend with a bronze-medal performance of 4:35.25 in the 1500-metre steeplechase, beating his own mark by 11 seconds and setting a new provincial record.
Katie Robinson of Saint John, wrapped things up on Sunday by capturing the bronze medal in the under-18 2000-metre steeplechase, with a time of 7:26:41, setting a New Brunswick record and beating her own personal best by 15 seconds.
A side from earning six medals, New Brunswick also established more than 30 personal bests and broke eight provincial records.
“To have so many personal bests, provincial records and medals shows that New Brunswick can compete against the bigger provinces,” said Gabriel LeBlanc, technical director of Athletics New Brunswick
“I believe this will inspire some of our younger athletes. This also bodes well for next year’s team and our Canada Games team.”
Jacob Hayes of Quispamsis was one of those athletes, setting a new record in the under-18 boys 200-metre race with a time of 22.64 seconds, in a qualifying round.
Hayes beat Michael LeBlanc, considered New Brunswick’s fastest man by 0.02 seconds, set in 2004.
More than 800 athletes from across Canada competed in the weekend’s events held at the University of P.E.I.’s Alumni Canada Games Place.