Yukoners winning hardware at the Jack Brow Memorial Track and Field Meet is nothing new, but one of the medals came from unexplored territory on Saturday.
Whitehorse’s Levi Johnson pocketed gold in the hammer throw for men 16-17, for one of seven medals won by Team Yukon at the annual meet in Kelowna, B.C.
Johnson is the first Yukoner to compete in hammer throw at Jack Brow and conversely the first to win gold in it.
“It’s all about technique,” said Johnson. “To be honest, I had six throws and I threw out of bounds in three of them. I only landed three, but I’d do it again. It was fun.”
Johnson sent the hammer 34.47 metres down field, surpassing the silver medalist, Australian Sam Hutchinson, by over 14 metres.
“Levi’s performance was a Yukon record,” said Yukon coach Don White. “There’s no facility here, no equipment. We put him into the cage on Friday and let him try it.
“He really needs a lot of work in his form,” he added with a chuckle, “but he was good enough to actually medal.”
Johnson collected two other medals in the same division. He won silver in the shot put with a throw of 13.17 metres and bronze in the discus with a toss of 35.41 metres.
“Part of (the team’s success) is the athletes that came out. Part of it, in the case of Levi, he’s one of the kids in the F.H. Collins sport school (program), and he ended up getting a fair amount of basic training, strength training and a few other things over the school year,” said White. “That translated into his performance.”
Anyone familiar with the athletic abilities of Yukon’s Dominic Korn would not be surprised he made a few trips up the podium.
Korn won two gold and a bronze.
“Dominic Korn is just an outstanding natural athlete,” said White. “All we had to do with him is work a little on his start.”
Korn won gold in the 100-metre dash for men 18-19, crossing the line with a personal best time of 11.27 seconds.
“It may be the fastest electronic time of any Yukon athlete in the 100 metres,” said White. (Athletics Yukon does not currently have an official record book.)
Korn also leapt to gold in the long jump at 6.12 metres and tied for bronze in the 200-metre dash at 23.59 seconds.
Korn won three medals while competing at the Nike High School Grand Prix in Toronto two months ago.
“Dominic is unreal,” said Johnson. “All of my teammates did very well … But Dominic stood out – he crushed it.
“He shows up always with a great attitude, tries to do his best and he does.”
Whitehorse’s Janet Clarke notched a medal win in the masters side of the meet.
Clarke won gold in the 3,000-metre run for women 45-49, coming in a 20:41.37, less than a second ahead of the silver medalist.
Team Yukon’s Timber Scroff was edged out of two medals in Kelowna. Scroff placed fourth in discus, at 27.52 metres, in men 16-17. He then threw 40.15 metres for fourth in javelin.
“Timber’s javelin toss is possibly a Yukon record,” said White.
Teamates Karter Kazakoff-Twarzinski, Malcolm Muir and Avery Bramadat didn’t let a lack of facilities in Whitehorse hold them back in the long jump.
Kazakoff-Twarzinski landed fifth at 5.41 metres and Muir sixth at 5.22 metres for men 16-17. Bramadat jumped to 4.54 metres for ninth for women 16-17.
“We don’t have a long jump pit to train in now because of the (construction of the new F.H. Collins) school,” said White. “So we had a bit of training on Friday and did the competition on Saturday and did fine.”
Kazakoff-Twarzinski also ran to 16th in the 100-metre at 12.57, one spot up from Muir who finished at 12.58. Muir also came 18th in the 200 metre.
Bramadat ran the 100 in 13.86 for 19th in her division.
Yukon’s Mackenzie Shaw came 16th in his first 1,500 metre for men 16-17, coming in at 4:31.42.
“It was the first time he’s ever run the 1,500 under any condition,” said White. “The fact that he ran it on a rubber track probably helped. He went in absolutely cold with no idea how he was going to do and had an excellent performance.”
Other top-20 results for Yukon include Maya Oakley 14th in long jump for women 16-17 at 3.97 metres; Jetta Bilsky 16th in the 100-metre for girls 14-15 at 14.82 seconds; Katelyn Holway 20th in the same event at 15.97; and Angus Clarke 20th in the 100-metre for boys 14-15 at 13.78 seconds.
“It was awesome; such a great experience,” said Johnson. “I would do it again in a heartbeat.
“It’s so much fun, you get to meet so many people and (coaches Christine) Kirk and Don (White) are great supporters and they always want us to do well.”
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