MIKE MASON NAMED TO OLYMPIC TEAM: THREE MEDALS WON BY VALLEY ROYAL ATHLETES AT CANADIAN JR/SR CHAMPIONSHIPS
Edmonton, Alberta July 7-10, 2016: Mike Mason won the men’s high jump silver medal on Saturday evening, but more importantly, his second place finish assured him of selection to Canada’s Olympic Team headed for Brazil.
Mason cleared 2.23 meters at the meet to place second behind Canadian record holder Derek Drouin’s 2.30 meters. Django Lovett gave the Royals a second medal in the high jump as his performance of 2.18 meters was the bronze medal height.
Vikramjit Gondara moved up an age division at this meet but still was able to win the silver medal in the junior hammer with a throw of 58.94 meters. Gondara also took part in the discus event and finished seventh (42.92m).
But for the last 30-meters of her senior women’s 800 meter race, Jessica Smith might also have been on her way to Brazil. Smith had secured the Olympic standard last year and to assure herself of a place on the Canadian team she needed to place second at these trials. Until the last 30-meters she had second place in her grasp but things seemed to collapse over those final painful meters and she fell to fourth position with a time of 2:03.77.
Lindsey Butterworth came up with an excellent effort in the senior women’s 800m placing fifth in the final with a personal best time of 2:04.55. Butterworth will now extend her season by traveling to Europe to take part in several invitational meets on that continent.
Jayden Driver had a successful meet by placing fifth in the junior men’s hammer (54.54m) in a tightly contested battle for the bronze medal. Had Driver been able to throw 24-cm further he would have been the bronze medalist. Driver was ninth in the discus with a toss of 41.00m.
Tanner Geary got his first taste of national championship competition and it taught him that tactical racing is the name of the game at this meet. In his heat of the junior men’s 1500 meters, Geary positioned himself well in a very slow paced race and was able to secure third place (4:01.14) to qualify for the final. The final was again a tactical run and Geary learned that the last 300-meters is like an all out sprint at this level and after all was said and done he settled for seventh position (4:01.14).
Tasha Willing traveled to the championships and equipped herself well by placing fifth in the junior women’s shot put (11.72m) and ninth in the hammer (44.68m).
Valley Royal Event Centre athletes Joel Della Siega won the junior men’s high jump with an impressive leap of 2.10m while Alexa Porpaczy was the silver medalist in the junior women’s high jump (1.71m).