A couple of Hay River athletes recently took part in the Canadian Junior Track and Field Championships in Winnipeg on July 28-29, where they were competing in preparation for the 2013 Canada Summer Games. Skylar Horton, 16, and Hailey Lyon, 19, both performed well in their respective events, setting personal and season bests during their competitions.
Despite not reaching the finals in any of her events, Horton was well within striking distance of them. Her long jump (4.76 m), triple jump (10.24 m) and 100 m (13.67 s) performances were season bests.
She said she was happy with her performances, despite competing on a rubber track for the first time this year and being unsure of expectations. Training five times a week, she has specific goals for the Canadian Youth Track and Field Championships in Charlottetown on Aug. 17-19.
“I’d like to hit 5.15 m in the long jump and break 11 m in the triple jump,” she said. She doesn’t know if she’ll be competing in the 100 m and 200 m races yet.
Head coach Joe LeBlanc was singing Horton’s praises, as he believes she can aspire to great performances next summer.
“With a strong year of training, focus, dedication and discipline, Skylar is capable of a top-six finish in both the long and triple jump at the Canada Summer Games,” he said.
Lyon, meanwhile, set a personal best and even established a Northwest Territories record with her hammer throw of 40.79 m, advancing to the finals and finishing eighth.
“I am very happy; I wasn’t really thinking about setting a new record at the time because in the qualifying round, I set my own personal best for the year,” she said.
“Finishing eighth in the finals was a fantastic way to finish off my very first season of hammer throw.”
She is coached by Larry Steinke out of Lethbridge, Alta., who is currently at the London Olympics with some of his athletes.
“[Training under Steinke] is quite hard,” she said.
She follows a rigorous training schedule that leaves little room for idling.
“It requires complete dedication and time management, as we train twice a day every day. During winter we have 6 a.m. throwing practices, followed by weightlifting. In the afternoon we do the same thing. However, training under Larry has been an awesome experience! Especially in my first year of hammer throwing it’s been great having a coach who continues to believe in you whether you throw terribly or not.”
Lyon wants to throw at least 50m at the 2013 Summer Games.
“I’ve improved a lot this year and I hope to continue improving this coming season.”