Hay River athletes set personal and territorial bests at meet

Clell Crook of Hay River is in his blocks, waiting for the start of his 300 metre race.
photo courtesy of Hilary Turko


Several NWT athletes, including five from Hay River, returned from the Alberta Team Challenge Indoor Track and Field meet earlier this month having established personal and territorial records.

Aaron Moizis, Andrew and Christopher Lirette, Clell Crook and Skylar Horton all recorded indoor personal bests, with the last four establishing NWT indoor records in their disciplines.

The members of the NWT Track and Field team competed against University of Alberta and University of Calgary athletes on Jan. 6 in Edmonton, kicking off the 2013 NWT Track and Field indoor season.

“Being able to line up against the university teams helps bring out the best in our athletes,” said NWT head coach Joe LeBlanc in an e-mail.

Andrew Lirette, a juvenile, established NWT indoor records in the triple jump and the 1,000-metre race, with a distance of 9.71 metres and a time of 3:15.08, respectively.

His older brother Christopher, the 2012 NWT Junior Male Athlete of the Year, established NWT indoor records in the 60-metre sprint (7.75 seconds), the 300-metre race (39.98) and the triple jump (10.93 metres).

Clell Crook, also a juvenile, established an NWT indoor record in the long jump with 5.14 metres.

Skylar Horton, a junior, recorded NWT indoor records in all her events: the 60-metre sprint (8.70), the long jump (5.02 metres) and the triple jump (10.55 metres).

Coach LeBlanc said Horton and Christopher, both Grade 12 students, are promising athletes who have been identified as potential members of the University of Alberta and University of Calgary track and field teams.

“For Skylar, I had spoken with the University of Calgary jumps coaches during some of my interactions with them at clinics and conferences,” he said.

“I then e-mailed her stats to the head coach, who then talked to me about what Skylar would have to do to be a part of the team. Her performances to date indicate she is capable of helping them.”

He added that he believes Horton will have her pick of universities to attend if she decides to pursue a career in track and field, either in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) or the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).

“For Christopher, I only spoke with the coaches at this meet,” he said.

“We discussed the possibility of him being a combined-event track and field athlete. Both coaches indicated a willingness to work with Christopher. His is another case of watching him on the track and realizing he belongs there: he has the athletic foundation, and they can coach him for his events.”

The next competition on the indoor agenda is the Golden Bear Open in Edmonton from Jan. 18 to 20.

— Myles Dolphin