Colchester clubs send largest contingent ever to Canadian competition
Tracking to nationals
TRURO - Nine Colchester County track athletes will be rubbing elbows with some of the nation's greatest this weekend.
Both the Central Nova Legion Legends and the Truro Lions are sending their top athletes to the Legion Canadian Youth Track and Field Championships in Sherbrooke, Que., Friday and Saturday.
"Nationals is lot harder than the meets here in Nova Scotia because there's a lot tougher competition," said Kayla Gallagher, a member of the Truro Lions. "There's a lot more people in the competition so it's pretty different than what I'm used to."
Gallagher, 15, attended the national competition last year where she placed eighth in shot put, and hopes she'll have a chance to podium this time around.
"I think I can do it. I've been practising for this for the last three months," said the Truro Heights resident. "Right now I'm more excited because it's a lot of fun, staying in Quebec and meeting new people."
For Truro's Peter Millman, excitement is not a sentiment he would use to describe his feeling towards the competition.
"I'm pretty nervous because it's my first time going," explained the 15-year-old. "But I am looking forward to the competition because here in Nova Scotia there are not a lot of people to push me to do better because I'm quite a lot further ahead than everybody else."
Millman is the top seeded thrower in the country in both shot put and discus and is aiming for a first-place finish in both events.
Lions coach Paul Millman has high expectations from the group of throwers that will be representing the Lions at nationals.
"This is a really talented group of kids, really talented," he said. "Truro has traditionally been a hotbed for throwing in Nova Scotia and this group of kids will definitely prove that."
Millman, who has been coaching for 21 years, can't remember the last time Truro sent a group as large as this year's to nationals.
"Nine is a lot. There are some good coaches here and where there are coaches there are athletes and if you have good coaching the kids will perform," he said.
Legion Legends team member Tristan Langley has attended nationals for the past three years but is still nervous this time around.
"I'm trying a new event this year," said the Onslow resident. "It's the 2,000 meter steeple chase."
Langley's coach, Jake Borden, describes the new event as a particularly grueling run.
"You've got your regular barriers just like in hurdles but then there is one water jump where there is a larger barrier with a 12 meter water pit directly behind the jump that slopes upwards. Everyone hits that jump at the same time so if one person falls, there is usually a pile up."
Borden believes that Langley, along with the three other Legends attending the competition, is as ready as she'll ever be.
"We're hoping to peak at nationals," he explained. "Our goal is always to try and get our bests at that meet. All the other meets leading up to this one are just practice."