Whitehorse’s Jessica Frotten is at the top of her sport in Canada.
To close out just her second competitive season, the 26-year-old won two gold in para wheelchair racing at the 2014 Canadian Track and Field Championships over the weekend in Moncton, N.B.
“I am the fastest T53 Canadian woman right now,” said Frotten. “It was awesome. I didn’t have any PBs (personal bests) but it was such a great experience to see all those athletes. All the Commonwealth (Games) athletes were there, it was really cool.”
Frotten sped to gold medals in the 800-metre with a time of 2:21.33 and the 200-metre at 35.51 seconds.
In both events she beat Quebec’s Sarah White, who won a gold and three silver at last year’s championship.
The two have crossed paths before. White won three gold at the Canada Summer Games last August in Sherbrooke, Que., while Frotten claimed bronze in the same races.
“I’ve been training really hard and I’m really happy with all my results,” said Frotten.
“Just to beat Sarah – she was top in Canada last year – that really shows how much I have improved. All my early mornings and long training days paid off.”
Frotten also raced to silver in the 400-metre with a time of 1:08.76 in Moncton. However, Frotten was the top T53 racer in the event.
“I got two gold and a silver because they ran all the classes together,” said Frotten.
She also tied four fourth in the 100-metre at 20.32, less than a second from another medal.
“I’m working on my starts, that’s where they get me,” said Frotten. “I can make up time in the race, but everybody gets me off the start.
“It’s all about the start in that one.”
“Just being there with all the other athletes – it was an incredible atmosphere,” she added. “Able-bodied people were also there – a lot of Olympians – and everyone is just chiseled. They look like they are cut from stone, Photoshopped or something.”
Frotten qualified for the nationals during a productive season that took her to Arizona and as far away as Switzerland.
Frotten set her first qualifying time for nationals with a fourth place finish at the Desert Challenge Games in Mesa, Arizona, in May.
A week later she was back at setting qualifying times at the 41st Swiss Open Nationals in Nottwil and then the Daniela Jutzeler Memorial in Nottwil, Switzerland.
At the latter she claimed her first international medal with a bronze in the 200-metre in the T53 division with a personal best time of 34.41.
“That’s it for my season now. There’s a five-kilometre on Parliament Hill in October that I might do, but I’m actually driving to Whitehorse tomorrow,” said Frotten from Regina on Wednesday.
“I can’t wait to have a little down time in Whitehorse.”
Whitehorse distance runner Lindsay Carson qualified to compete at the national championships but withdrew from the competition due to injury.
“Next season is a big season. There are Parapans (American Games) in Toronto and there’s also worlds,” said Frotten. “Hopefully with my performances at the nationals and through the season I can get developmentally carded, get onto Team Canada that way.
“I haven’t made any of the senior carding standards … But I’m really going to push to make worlds and the Para Pans. And, yah, infinity and beyond.”
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