St. Thomas native finishing in 3:45.41 three seconds under required time
June 18, 2022
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - Aiden Coles took a major step towards accomplishing a dream trip.
The 17-year old from St. Thomas met the junior worlds (U20) standard for the 1500-metres, placing fourth in an open men's race, in a time of three minutes and 45.41 seconds (3:45.41), at twilight meet, in Hamilton, Friday.
The men's 1500 metre standard is 3:48.5, to qualify for the World Athletics U20 championships, in Cali, Columbia, August 2-7.
Up next for Coles are the Canadian U20 track and field championships, in Langley, B.C., June 22-26.
A 1500 win at Canadians, automatically gives Coles a spot with Canada's junior team. Finishing second puts him in a great position to be selected for the team.
"Honestly it's something I have looked forward to for a very long time," said Coles, who trains with London-Western club. "Last year I was eyeing down the standard, but fell a few seconds short. This year there are four guys with the standard and I'm one of them."
Coles ranks seconds in Canada for U20 men, just 0.7 seconds behind Riley Flemington, of Oakville.
"It was an amazing night to accomplish that standard with so many great people around me," said Coles, recalling the race.
"I had Andrew Davies right beside me and Flemington right in front of me and all I could think about was beating those two guys and running 3:45. Unfortunately I wasn't able to catch Riley, but I passed Davies and accomplished my goal of 3:45."
Connor Black won the race, in 3:43.10, followed by
Flemington and Corey Bellemore. Davies finished fifth
"Four incredible runners so I can't hang my head too much over that," said Aiden.
Attaining the standard just days before Canadians, is a definite plus for the St. Joseph's high school student.
"I'm definitely going into Nationals on a high," Coles said. "I think the part about the standard I'm most excited about is, the fact that I did it in a race with so many guys who were significantly faster than me going into the meet. I was able to get myself in a good spot and race it like I belonged, which I proved to myself that I truly do. Heading into a race where you have the slowest time, can sometimes get to your head and cause you to run slower, but I am very proud of how poised I was and my tactics throughout."
Six others in the 1500
Tristan Coles placed 12th, in a time of 3:51.33, Harrison Belanger was 81st (4:11.54) and Vincent Moore, 93rd (4:13.83), all from St. Thomas and running with London-Western.
Fifteen year old Ryan Johnson, of Thorndale, was 130th (4:35.60) and Kirk Hallman, of Thorndale, was 139th (4:47.58), both running with Dorchester Club.
Hallee Knelsen, of Malahide, with St. Thomas Legion, finished 14th, in the open women's 1500 metre race, featuring 116 runners, in a time of 4:33.63.
Knelsen's two teammates from the Western University Mustangs, sisters Chloe and Sophie Coutts, were second (4:24.79) and fourth (4:28.74), respectively.
Cameron Ormond, of Royal City club, won in 4:34.35.ues to Saturday.
© 2022 Hometownplay.ca