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Comox Valley javelin throwers medal at national track & field championships

L-R Tyson Servos, Kayden U-Ming and Gillian Galik all reached the podium in their respective javelin competitions at the Track & Field Nationals in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Photo supplied

The Comox Valley sent a different kind of air force to Sherbrooke, Que. for the National Track & Field Championships in August.

Canada’s premier and only nationwide competition for U16 and U18 track and field athletes, the Legion Nationals are recognized internationally.

Three athletes from the Comox Valley Cougars qualified for the B.C. team in the javelin throw, based on their performances at the B.C. championships back in early July. First up in the U16 boys’ division was Tyson Servos who wasted no time in launching the spear to 51.81m in round one, just short of his personal best. This mark held up through 6six rounds to give Servos the national title.

Next on the runway was Kayden U-Ming who entered the U18 boys’ division ranked fourth nationally. He opened the competition with a personal best by a full metre, but saved his best for the last round when he unloaded a personal best throw of 63.42m - seven metres longer than his previous PB, to capture the silver medal. Only the Canadian record holder was able to throw further. For U-Ming, this podium finish was particularly satisfying following a fourth-place finish in the U20 nationals only two weeks prior.

Last to compete was Gillian Galik in the girls’ U16 division. Galik held the top Canadian mark going into the competition, and like her teammates, she was ready to throw in round one. Her massive 55.59m opening throw shattered a 41-year-old national record. The previous mark of 46.32m was set in 1982. Galik’s throw also outdistanced the current U18 records of 49.88m (championship record) and 53.44m (national record) and would put her in third place in the world for U18 women according to World Athletics.

Their coach, Graham Morfitt, was getting updates by text all weekend.

“It is thrilling for these kids to be able to have the opportunity to compete at the national level,” said Morfitt. “They have all had a fantastic season, and to see them meet or exceed their personal best when it counts is something very special.”

Two other Cougars athletes competed in Sherbrooke in the open category. Like her sister, Maddie Galik delivered a personal best when needed, finishing 10th in the U18 hammer throw with a 43m mark. Walker Smits competed in both the U16 steeplechase, and 1200m races, finishing in 4:41 for sixth and 3:34 for 20th respectively.

The Comox Valley Cougars Track & Field Club provides training and competition opportunities for athletes from nine and older. The 100 per cent volunteer club operates out of the Vanier oval at the Comox Valley Sports Centre.