Tristan Langley getting adapted to steeplechase for Canada Games
TRURO - It's been a summer of new experiences for Tristan
After years of competing in long distance running events with both the Central Nova Legion Legends and her school track and field teams, Langley has been trying her hand at a new event, the 2,000m steeplechase.
"It's pretty different (from what I'm used to)," the 16-year-old said.
The Belmont resident only started training for the event in June in preparation for Canada Games in P.E.I. next week. It's taken plenty of work to get adjusted to the new discipline, which requires runners to leap over five 30-inch high, 200-pound barriers every 80m each lap. One barrier is followed by a six-metre long water pit, requiring runners to jump onto the barrier and launch themselves as far into the pit as possible to limit being slowed by the obstacle.
"It's a really hard event to get used to," said Langley's coach Jake Borden.
So why did Langley decide to take on the task of learning a new event, especially one this
"I've always wanted to try it," she said. "I've watched other people do it and it looked like a lot of fun and this was the first year it is offered for my age group."
Langley is used to running long distance races, but had to adjust to jumping over obstacles, which, unlike hurdles events, do not fall if a competitor hits them.
"It's taken a lot of work," Borden said. "You've really got to be focused on what you're doing with a barrier every 80m. You can't just drift off."
Langley said she was intimidated at the prospect of the barriers when she first tried the event in practice, but managed to stop the clock in 7:50. Since then she's been able to knock 25 seconds off her time and is getting faster each time she runs.
"She's done really well," Borden said. "Especially for it being her first year and making the
Langley was named to the Canada Games squad as an alternate after finishing third at Canada Games trials. The winner couldn't make the event so Langley was selected to go.
Langley, who is also an accomplished swimmer, crossed the line ninth at the provincial junior championships, but fell over one of the barriers at the recent Legion Canadian Youth Track and Field Championships in Sherbrooke, Que.
"When you fall your confidence takes a bit of a hit," Borden said. "So we're just working on getting that back."
But Borden said there's no reason why Langley can't put in a middle of the pack performance next week on the Island.
"We're hoping for the top nine," Borden said. "She's 16 and some of the runners will be up to 22 years old so we figure she should be
But Langley will be happy with a new personal best.
"Most of the girls are older and have been doing it longer," she said. "But I'm excited and I think it will be a lot of fun."