Jacklin to represent province at national track meet - July 20, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
In less than two years, Ryan Jacklin has gone from a rookie in throwing sports at track and field to representing Ontario in the Royal Canadian Legion National Track and Field Competition.
Jacklin won gold in the javelin, shot put and discus events at the Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Youth Championship in Windsor over the weekend and will be heading to the national competition in Brandon, Manitoba from Aug. 10-12.
Jacklin said he went into the competition with a high ranking, which calmed his nerves.
“That helped me to compete a lot better,” he said. “The district team went to a buffet the night before as well, so I ate as much as I could to have as much energy as I could.”
Jacklin said he went into the competition a little on edge, adding that he wasn’t pleased with recent performances in the discus, but he soon was able to calm himself and he came out with the gold.
He said a few snacks and lunch were able to help him do his best in the javelin and shot put, but what really helped him achieve his gold medal was training.
“I still train in Port Elgin for the Saugeen Track and Field Club,” he said. “Coach Randy Miller taught me everything I know and has helped me to be a respectable athlete. He taught me that, above all else, it’s important to be a good loser when I don’t win and a humble winner when I do.”
The Royal Canadian Legion Track and Field Program District ‘C’ Chairman Crystal Taylor said that Jacklin is a wonderful athlete, especially considering the fact that he just started throwing last year.
“He’s doing phenomenal,” she said in an interview with The Citizen. “That boy has great things to look forward to in his career.”
She also said that what impresses her the most about Jacklin is that he’s always willing to help the athletes that are around him.
“The most inspiring thing I’ve watched him do is, during competition, before it or after it, he is always there for them,” she said. “He gives them guidance, tips on how they can throw better and that really tells you what kind of young man he truly is.”
Jacklin said he sees it as just being a good citizen of the athletic community.
“Some competitors see the new ones coming towards them and ask how they do so well and they won’t take the time to respond,” he said. “I think if someone is asking for help, it’s nice to help them. It also makes contacts for when it’s time to start looking at universities.”
Jacklin also received the Junior Male Athlete of the Year Award at F.E. Madill School this year, an accolade that surprised him a little.
“At first I thought it was just someone who played the most sports, but then I received it,” he said. “It shocked me, but, when I was there, listening to what they said about what I’ve done in track, I realized that I hadn’t really taken the time to think of what I’ve actually achieved. I amazed myself with how much I’ve done in about a year and a half.”
Earlier this year, Jacklin won two gold medals in shot put and javelin at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) as well as a bronze in discus.
While Jacklin had originally intended on participating in high jump, a collarbone fracture led to him trying throwing sports. It wasn’t long before he realized he had a gift for making the javelin, discus and shot put fly further than many of his competitors.
“By the time I healed up, I decided to stick with throwing,” he said. “I realized that I could go places with it.”
The places he could go now include the national competition this year, of which Jacklin is excited to be a part.
“I’m stoked, there is no other way to put it,” he said. “I know my hard work is going to pay off and I’m looking forward to seeing how well I can do.”
Watch The Citizen for updates on Jacklin’s performance at the national competition.