TRURO, N.S. – Alex Amero could be considered a quick study.
Just a year-and-a-half after taking up discus at a competitive level, the 18-year-old from Valley has already established himself as the top thrower in the province in his age group.
Now, Amero, a member of the Truro Lions, will test his mettle against the top athletes in the country when he competes at the Canadian track and field championship in the U20 junior division later this month in Montreal.
“Everyone in the Truro Lions is looking to go to nationals, and (Athletics Canada) put their standards out there pretty early in the season so that’s a good reminder to everyone that this is your goal at the end of the year,” said Amero, a recent graduate from Cobequid Educational Centre.
Amero qualified for the Canadian championship by achieving the national standard of 43m during the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation championship in the spring in Wolfville. There, he threw a distance of 44.97m to win provincial gold.
Amero, who stands about six-foot-two, is a prototypical discus thrower in the fact that he has a wide wingspan, or “long levers,” as he puts it. His coaches taught him technique, and he added the work required to be successful in the sport.
“I think my overall body is one thing that gives me an advantage over some other athletes,” he said. “I’m kind of built for it, which is a lucky part of discus I was able to acquire. Discus is a very tricky sport and it’s a mental sport and our coaches have done a fantastic job sending multiple athletes to multiple nationals.”
Amero will also compete in javelin at nationals. He won javelin silver at the NSSAF championship this year, finishing second to CEC and Lions teammate Michael Adams. Amero’s specialty, though, is discus, and he looks forward to the opportunity of competing on the big stage.
“It’s always a fun time, every time you’re able to hit a standard for nationals it kind of gives you those chills and you get super excited,” said Amero, who competed in javelin at junior nationals last year in Ottawa. “Getting to see all these athletes, I know there’s a couple of them that I’ll be competing against hopefully that are travelling with Team Canada internationally, so that’s always a cool thing, and you always kind of look over at them, saying, ‘what’s the difference between you and me?’ So it’s a good competitive thing and track and field is a such a good sport for getting to meet new people and all that kind of stuff. It’s a good atmosphere there.”
Truro Lions coach Nathan Burris said Amero’s work ethic and desire to improve have been huge factors in his progression as a thrower. He said Amero trained hard during the indoor season, which has translated into success outdoors.
Amero is ranked fourth in discus and 17th in javelin heading into nationals, and will approach the event in search of a podium spot.
“I’m always shooting for that medal, but when you’re going to nationals you never really know who’s going to pull what out of their pocket.”
Amero will attend the NSCC, Truro campus next fall to study community recreation.
OFF TO NATS
Following is a list of Truro Lions who will be attending the Canadian track and field championship later this month in Montreal:
Alex Amero – Discus (U20)
Michael Adams – Javelin (U20)
Joey MacDonald – High jump (U20)
Matthew Jones – High jump (U20)
Chelsea MacIsaac – Discus, shot-put (U20)
Madelyn Quinn – Javelin (U20)
Erin McCavour – Long, triple jumps (U20)
Mira Alexander – Javelin, 400m (U20)
Quinn Alexander – 800m (senior)
Tobi Oshikoya – Long, triple jumps (U20)
Mike ven der Poel – sprints (senior)
Nathan Burris, throws coach, hammer throw (senior)
Iain LaPointe, javelin coach
Tammy Armstrong, high jump coach