Yukon runners hit top speed to close out Games

Distance runners on Yukon's athletics team ran the longest - and final - race of the Canada Summer Games in their shortest times on Friday.


Distance runners on Yukon’s athletics team ran the longest – and final – race of the Canada Summer Games in their shortest times on Friday.

Brittany Pearson-Smith, Logan Boehmer and Logan Roots each posted personal best times in the 5,000-metre race to finish the Games in Sherbrooke.

Roots ran to 13th in 15:23.21, Boehmer claimed 17th out of 19 with a time of 16:08.22, and Pearson-Smith took 16th out of 20 at 18:57.27.

“Every last one of them (set PBs),” said Yukon head coach Don White. “Brittany (Pearson-Smith) took off a minute and a half off her 5,000, Logan Boehmer took off 23 seconds and Logan Roots took off eight seconds.”

Roots produced a breakthrough for the team early on in Sherbrooke. The 20-year-old became the first Yukoner to make a final at the Canada Games in at least 20 years – maybe ever.

“As far as I know of, it’s a first,” said White, who has been head coach of Yukon’s track teams since 1993. “We’ve had other runners who have been talented, but we’ve never had the opportunity to get into the A final.”

Roots set a personal best time of 4:00.55 to qualify in the 12th and final spot in the final. He then set another PB in the final at 3:59.95 to place 11th overall out of 22 runners.

Roots also competed for Yukon in track at the 2009 Canada Games in P.E.I.

“The last one was four years ago and I was the youngest guy on the team. This time I’m the oldest,” said Roots. “So I get to see it from two different perspectives.

“It was nice to get on the track and actually compete with the guys this time, rather than just go for the experience – not just be another Yukoner at the Games, but actually give a few people a run for their money. Hopefully I accomplished that.”

With 15 athletes on the roster, Yukon’s team was the largest since the 1989 Games in Saskatoon. Sherbrooke was also the first time Yukoners competed in field events since two athletes competed in long jump at the 2005 Games in Regina.

Yukon’s Max Clarke placed 15th in javelin and 18th in discus, Emily Oettli threw to 16th in discuss, Anna Rivard leaped to 16th in women’s long jump and Karter Kazakoff 18th in the men’s long jump.

Teammate Kieran Halliday ran to 12th in the 3,000-metre steeplechase in what was the first time Yukon was represented in the event at the Canada Games.

Yukon’s female relay team of Sara Burke-Forsythe, Katie Londero, Odette Rivard and Anna Rivard, took ninth out of 12 teams in the 4×100-metre.

Other Yukon results include Aidan Bradley placing 22nd in the 200- and 400-metre races and Brody Smith taking 21st in the 800-metre.

Scott Peterson, who went in as Yukon’s top sprinter in the 100-metre, pulled his hamstring at the start of his first race and sat out the rest of the Games.

“I’m disappointed, but at the same time it’s Canada Games – it’s an experience even if you’re not competing,” said Peterson the next day.

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