aimee Springer throws to a silver medal in javelin at the 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships. SEAN BURGES/MUNDO SPORT IMAGES
Everything seemed to click at exactly the right time for two Split City Sonics javelin throwers.
Sonics athlete and coach Jaimee Springer hit a huge new personal best distance to capture a senior division silver medal in the 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships, at Ottawa’s Terry Fox Athletic Facility on July 7.
Her Sonics’ protégé, Quinton MacMillan, failed to reach a new personal best the next morning, but did use the help he’s received from the club this year to win a bronze medal in the national under-20 division.
Springer, 25, said the unexpected happened during her competition. She said clear and sunny skies in the hours preceding the javelin event gave way to thunder and lightning shortly before start time, forcing athletes into a delay, short warm-up and somewhat disorganized throwing order.
“It was something the athletes sort of had to adapt to, and it was one of those things where you had to be competent that day, have the ability, and not let anything faze you,” said Springer.
“My confidence was really high and nothing got me off focus, so I was really able to settle down and hone in on my technique and throw as far as I can.”
Quinton MacMillan of the Split City Sonics won a bronze medal in U20 javelin at the 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships. SEAN BURGES/MUNDO SPORT IMAGES
The nine-year Sonics veteran and Lloydminster product hit a new personal best distance on her fifth throw at nationals, by hitting 51.91 metres, which surpassed her top mark by 0.38 metres.
She annihilated that figure on her sixth and final throw by reaching 54.40 metres.
“Everything was timed perfectly and we were just lucky enough that we had a huge fan base there,” she said.
“To have that fan base there and have people watching you and really care and take interest in the sport, I think that was what really helped get that javelin out as far as it could.”
MacMillan, 18, said using the proper techniques such as where to hold the javelin and how to correctly run toward the throwing line led to his bronze medal winning fourth throw of 55.71 metres.
He said this was his initial year training with the Sonics and the national championships was his first time competing in anything other than high school track and field meets, so the plan was just to practise as hard as he could beforehand to strengthen his throw.
“I work on the runway lots when I’m here (at Sonics’ practice) and I work on throwing when I’m here,” said MacMillan, who regularly travels to Lloydminster from his hometown of Hughenden, Alta., to train with the club.
“At home I do workouts called five-by-five and it’s just like squat, bench and deadlift and that type of stuff, and that’s my whole preparation. Every time I can I try to get in workouts and practices here, because I don’t have a runway like this at home.”
Springer said this marked the third time she has won a silver medal in javelin at the Canadian Track and Field Championships, following strong finishes in both 2014 and 2015.
She noted the new personal best throw has also qualified her to represent Team Canada at the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan, from Aug. 13 to 30.
“At this point I’m not really sure what to expect,” said Springer, who is currently working toward a Masters of Arts degree in sport coaching from the University of Denver.
“I just have to go in with an open mind and just try as hard as I can, and throw as hard as I can when it matters.”