Special to the Record
Adam and Scott Commandeur can be hard to tell apart when sitting across a table from them on an average school day at Highland Secondary, where the twin brothers are currently in Grade 11.
They can be even harder to tell apart when streaking across the finish line in a cross-country race, where they truly have had a season to remember, becoming the first two runners in nearly 20 years to represent the school at the prestigious Provincial cross-country championships, to be held in Kelowna this Saturday.
In a field of over 200 runners last week in Victoria at the Island championships, Adam finished 12th and Scott 14th in a very competitive field, where only the top 20 runners advanced to the Provincial race.
Both boys began running cross-country in Grade 3 and started running track and field in Grade 4. They continued running both cross-country and track at the school level and in 2009 joined the Comox Valley Cougars to take their training more seriously.
At the 2010 track and field Provincials, competing in the Midget category, Adam got silver in 800m and bronze in the 1500m steeplechase while Scott got silver medals in both the 1500m steeplechase and the 2000m. They then went on to the B.C. Summer Games where Adam got two gold medals and Scott got a silver medal. (They got gold and silver in the 1500m steeplechase and stood on the podium together, and Adam got a second gold in the 800m).
They then went on to the Canadian Championships in Ottawa where Scott got a bronze medal in the 1500m steeplechase and Adam was eighth in the 800m.
In 2011 they advanced to the Youth category (16-17 year olds) and competed at both the Provincial and Canadian championships. They ran in four events each. Adam competed in the 400m, 800m, 4x100m relay and the 4x400m relay. Scott competed in the 2000m steeplechase, 1500m, 4x100m relay and the 4x400m relay. They came home with bronze medals for their 4x100m relay with a time of 46 seconds.
Scott is ranked second in Canada for 16 year olds in the 2000m steeplechase and Adam is ranked thirdrd in Canada for 16 year olds in the 400m
The boys had an amazing opportunity in the spring to go to Kamloops to train with Gary Read, a two-time Canadian Olympian and a World silver medallist in the 800m and an athlete who both boys consider a major inspiration.
Locally, both always love to race with Cam Levins, currently ranked as the Canadian senior men’s cross-country champion. In July, Scott and Adam were second and third in the Fifth Street Mile behind Levins. As far as individual influences go, Scott names 1500m Olympic champion Roshid Ramzi from Bahrain as an idol while Adam names the 400m world record holder from the USA Michael Johnson.
Both boys find that training year round to be able to compete at the national level has kept them “race ready” and focused due to their dedication to training. Doing both cross-country and track and field keeps them in good shape. They really keep each other motivated…competing together, not against, each other.
As for goals, they both said they would like to continue competing at a high level, advancing to the World level is a goal. They would love to be able to compete at an Olympic level and are also hoping that their running will give them the ability to apply for track scholarships for university.