Belgrave's Ryan Jacklin wins gold at nationals - Aug. 24, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
Belgrave’s Ryan Jacklin has reached the pinacle of track and field competition through the Royal Canadian Legion and came back with a gold, silver and bronze medal.
Jacklin finished his season off with a trip to the University of Manitoba to compete in the National Track and Field Championship Aug. 11-13. He brought home the gold in the Men Midget Shot Put competition with a put of 16.09 metres, silver in the Men Midget Discus competition with a throw of 55.81 metres and bronze in the Men Midget Javelin throw with a throw of 53.35 metres.
Jacklin said the competition at the match was like nothing he had run into yet.
“The field was amazing,” he said. “There was great competition.” While tough to compete against, the other throwers were welcoming, he said.
“Everyone was very encouraging,” Jacklin said. “Every time I would go someplace to do an event, or every time you saw people having a problem with something, people were helping out.”
He said that, when he was facing a new situation on the grounds, a competitor from British Columbia helped him out alongside one of his coaches.
While he won the gold medal, Jacklin said he was a little worried that Jeremy Elliott, a fellow Saugeen Shores Track Club member from Walkerton, might have edged him out.
“I got my 16.09 metre put on my second attempt,” he said. “I secured the gold with that, but Jeremy... threw a 15.99 that looked pretty close. I didn’t know how far he had thrown until they announced it.”
This was the top tier of competition for Jacklin, however, in the coming years, he will be able to pursue world competitions and commonwealth competitions.
Looking back, having just started competing within the last two years, he said it was an unforgettable feeling.
“To see how far I’ve come is just amazing,” he said.
Jacklin is currently looking forward to some time off, but figures he will keep practising until November when he can start some indoor practising, however he said he will likely “hit the weights pretty hard” in the meantime.
He said his coaches, both those at the Saugeen club and at F.E. Madill Secondary School, have helped him grow both as an athlete and as a person.
“Since the start, I’ve had coaches who helped me have a great attitude towards the sport,” he said. “At Madill they taught me how to deal with other competitors and my coaches from Saugeen helped me have a positive attitude and a good attitude for winning and losing.”
Jacklin’s coaches from the Saugeen club include Glenn Elliott, Randy Miller and Barry Bolley and his coaches at Madill include Maureen Lisle and Sandy MacIntyre. Jacklin said they have all gone above and beyond what’s required of them to help him reach his goals.
“My mom and I were at the practice before the match and we saw Miss Lisle, who had come down to support me and helped coach me in the discus,” he said. “She helped me get the silver and my personal best.”