St. Thomas runner will represent Canada at World U20 cross country
December 12, 2022
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - Tristan Coles is heading to the land down under.
The 18-year old from St. Thomas has qualified for the 2023 World Athletics U20 cross country championships, in Bathurst, Australia, this coming February.
Coles qualified at the Canadian cross country championships, held in Ottawa in November, finishing 11th in the men's U20 eight kilometre race, but top six among runners born in 2004.
"It feels amazing. I've been waiting to make my first national team for quite some time now, so to do it after having such a wonky season of getting sick and injured is more than I could've asked for," said Coles.
During the outdoor track season, Coles won the U20 men's 5000 at the Canadian championships and just missed meeting the standard in the 3000 metres for the World Athletics U20 track and field championships, held in August.
Almost as soon as Coles finished the eight kilometre race, he realized his dream of wearing the maple leaf.
"About five minutes after my coach told me he was pretty certain that I made the team," Coles said. "I wish that they announce the team before January 29th, so that I know who all my teammates are going be, but time will fly by and it'll be here before I know it."
Injuries have been a challenge this year.
"It affected my season significantly," said Coles.
"Had to miss many days of practice and drop out of lots of workouts because of
the pain of the injuries. Tried battling back a few times and it kept on coming
back, so ended up just having to manage it. Going forward I'll have to do physio
and learn how to prevent it from coming back in the future."
Coles will be travelling to the land of kangaroos, the great barrier reef and AC/DC, with three teammates from London-Western track and field club - Heath McAllister (U20), Connor Black (open men's) and Phil Parrot Migas (open men's).
A graduate of St. Joseph's high school in June, Coles is in his freshman year at Iona University, in New York State.
"Iona has been great. Red-shirting this season has allowed me to adapt to the new training and new country. The season was only stressful, because of the injuries, but it's been fun with the team and learning new things about training."
Coles raced once, at the Paul Short meet, in Pennsylvania.
Vigars indoor season opener
Brianna Rand, of Dorchester, placed top five in two events, at the Vigars Season Opener indoor track and field meet, November 4, at the University of Western.
Rand, competing for the Western Mustangs, placed third, in women's triple jump (11.45 metres) and fifth, in the 60-metre hurdles (9.35 seconds).]
Harrison Belanger, from St. Thomas, also with the Mustangs, placed fourth, in the men's 600-metre run (1:26.32), while teammate Vincent Moore was sixth (1:27.03).
Hallee Knelsen, of Malahide, ran the fourth leg for the Mustangs' women's 4x800-metre relay team, that set a Canadian U20 women's indoor record, winning the race in nine minutes and 7.72 seconds (9:07.72), with teammates Madison Calder, Chloe Coutts and Sophie Coutts.
During the Canadian university cross country season, Knelsen was part of the Mustangs' women's team that placed third, at the Ontario championships and fourth, at U-Sports Nationals.
Stanat third twice
A.J. Stanat placed third, in both men's weight throw and shot put, at the Windsor Lancers blue and gold meet. Stanat had a toss of 13.84 metres in shot put, behind an U-Sports record distance by teammate Zion Webb, of 15.94 metres. In weight throw, Stanat had a best effort of 14.35 metres, behind meet record of 16.74m, by Anthony Atkinson.
Club award winners
At the London-Western club awards and banquet celebration, Aiden Coles won the U20 men's track award. Coles, from St. Thomas, won a bronze medal in the U20 men's 1500 metres, at the Canadian track and field outdoor championships and gold, in the 1500, at Athletics Ontario's championships. During the indoor season, Aiden won the 1500 and carried the baton across the finish line, for gold, in the men's 4x400-metre relay race.
In his first experience with Team Canada, in March, Coles placed eighth, in the U20 men's eight kilometre race, at the Pan Am cross-country Cup, in Brazil.
Evan Stevens, of Thorndale, won London-Western's U16 men's field award. Highlights for the Lord Dorchester Secondary school student, include a bronze medal in javelin, at Athletics Ontario U16 championships and sixth, in javelin, at the Legion Nationals.
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