Most people return from Switzerland with chocolate or a chic wristwatch.
Whitehorse’s Jessica Frotten returned with a spot on the Canadian team bound for the World Para Athletics Championships.
The 29-year-old para wheelchair racer secured a spot on Team Canada with exceptional performances at three consecutive meets in Switzerland in recent weeks.
Her postion on the team comes after some setbacks that almost convinced her to give up racing. First she was passed over for the Paralympics team in Rio last summer and then she wrecked her racer in a crash last fall in Ottawa.
Like much of her competition in Switzerland, that’s all behind her.
“I’ve got a pretty busy month coming up, but I’m super duper excited about it,” said Frotten.
“This year is tracking just perfectly. It’s a nice feeling knowing that all the hard work is paying off. I was so bummed about Rio and then crashing afterwards (but) everything is coming together.”
The world championships, which will be held in London, England, July 14-23, will be Frotten’s second. She made two finals at the 2015 world championships in Qatar, finishing seventh in the 200-metre and eighth in the 100-metre.
“It’ll be super cool. It’s all at the Olympic stadium there,” said Frotten.
“My goal for worlds is, I think I could be top five for sure in a few of those races. Who knows? Maybe there’s a medal out there for me — maybe.”
Frotten is rounding the track faster than ever these days. She set personal best times in all her events except the 100-metre in Switzerland.
Frotten set her first Canadian record and nearly notched a second at the Daniela Jutzeler Memorial on May 25 in Arbon.
She placed seventh in the 800-metre with a Canadian record time of one minute, 58.30 seconds.
“I’ve never been so happy to come last,” said Frotten, who races in the T53 division. “Ilana (Dupont) has all the Canadian records right now. My time for the 200 was 0.01 of a second slower than her (record).”
Frotten won silver in the 200-metre at 31.28, just 0.24 behind gold medalist Lewis Jessica of Bermuda, and ahead of Dupont in third.
Frotten also took sixth in the 400-metre, breaking the one-minute mark for her first time at 59.92 seconds
After a day off from racing, Frotten was back on the track for the 44th annual Swiss Nationals May 27-28, also in Arbon.
In the field of T53 female racers Frotten placed fifth in the 100 (18.45), fourth in the 200 (31.30), seventh in the 400 (1:01.33) and 14th in the 800 (1:59.47).
Lastly, Frotten raced at the ParAthletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, June 2-5.
She set her final personal best time of the trip in the 1,500-metre — an event she doesn’t often race — at 3:56.71. She placed second for T53.
“I only did it because it was a pretty open schedule and I also wanted to see where I was at with the Commonwealth Games next year,” said Frotten. “The two wheelchair events they have are a 1,500 and a marathon. If I want to be eligible to make that team, I have to put some times out for those races.”
Also in Nottwil, Frotten placed first in the 100, and second in the 400, 100 and 800 events for T53.
“I’ve got a pretty busy month coming up. In three weeks I go to Quebec for another track meet. I’m going to stay with Ilana for a week and we were invited to an invitational demo 800-metre race in Bermuda,” said Frotten. “Jessica Lewis is from Bermuda, so we’re all going to go race that race, and then it’s straight to Ottawa for nationals. After Ottawa it’s back to Switzerland for a staging camp and then back to worlds.”
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com