After so many triumphs in her short but illustrious career, Whitehorse’s Jessica Frotten has logged her biggest yet.
The 27-year-old para wheelchair racer captured bronze in the 100-metre sprint at the Parapan Am Games in Toronto on Thursday.
“I’m feeling great!” said Frotten, in a message to the News. “To win the bronze in the 100 and share the podium with my teammate Ilana (Dupont) was awesome!”
Since pocketing her first track wins in the spring of 2013 at a meet in Victoria, B.C., Frotten has gone from local star to Canadian champ to an international race powerhouse.
Now she has hardware from a major international event to prove it.
It’s not surprising, though. The 100-metre is her best event. She is currently ranked sixth in the world for the 100-metre in the International Paralympic Committee’s world rankings for the T53 division.
She was up against some top-notch racers in the final, in which she posted a time of 19.25 seconds. American Jessica Lewis took the gold at 17.67, becoming the first person from Bermuda to win a gold medal at the Parapans. Quebec’s Ilana Dupont, a Paralympian medalist, edged out Frotten for silver at 18.63.
Frotten advanced to the 100-metre final after winning her semifinal on Wednesday. She flew over the finish line with a time of 18.34 – just 0.04 off her personal best – beating two Americans and a Mexican.
Her bronze came just hours after narrowly missing a medal in the 800-metre T53 final. She rolled over the line in fourth, less than a second behind Dupont in third, with a time of 2:09.59.
“I think I really could have had a chance for the bronze in the 800 as well, but I got bumped into and had to slow right down,” said Frotten. “I did make up a lot of ground in the end.”
And the Parapans ain’t done yet. On Wednesday Frotten placed third in the 400-metre semifinal, claiming the final spot in Friday afternoon’s final.
Frotten, who lives in Regina and races with the Saskatoon Cyclones, was selected for the Parapan Am Games following a stellar performance at the 2015 Canadian Track and Field Championships last month, winning two silver and three bronze. She won two national titles at the championships last year.
When Yukon’s Internet outage on Thursday afternoon concluded, messages poured out to Frotten through social media. The messages were understandably saturated with excitement.
Comments like “Wow, wow, and wow!” and “Whoohoo! Way to go” and “You are awesome” blanketed her Facebook wall.
Yukon MLA Elaine Taylor tweeted: “Congratulations to Yukon’s own Jessica Frotten on winning bronze in the Women’s 100m final … Yukon strikes BIG again!”
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