Yellowknife athlete sets 5 territorial track records
‘I was very surprised because I didn’t think I was going to win first overall,’ says Luke Dizon
A Yellowknife athlete set five territorial records earlier this month at the Alberta Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Luke Dizon, 13, also tied for first place overall in tournament's bantam division, winning two gold and three bronze medals.
"I was very surprised because I didn't think I was going to win first overall," says the Grade 7 Ecole St. Joseph student, who won the long jump and high jump competitions, and placed third in the 60m and 150m sprints, as well as the shot put.
"I was getting hyped up in my head. I wasn't really showing it."
He says some of his competitors were equally surprised by his wins. He says some did not know where the Northwest Territories was, and others asked how he managed to train.
"They were extremely competitive. And they're also extremely nice," he says.
Throughout the winter, Luke trains with his older brother Lance at the Yellowknife Fieldhouse.
"The year he is in is also the [year] I broke my first record," says Lance.
The 16-year-old has competed across the country and won a bronze medal in the 100m sprint at the B.C. Athletics Championships Jamboree last year.
"He's kind of going for that now so it's starting to become competitive between us a bit," Lance says with laugh.
So far, the brothers have racked up 34 indoor and outdoor N.W.T. track and field records.
The brothers train with their father Eduardo Dizon, a trained track and field coach.
Eduardo says Luke and Lance's success has a lot to do with their work ethic, but also because they're given the opportunity to train.
"In my four or five years of attending the N.W.T. Track and Field Championship in Hay River, I've seen so many promising and talented track and field athletes that with proper guidance and training will bring honour for the N.W.T. in outside competitions like Luke did," says Eduardo.
Even here in Yellowknife, though, the facilities could be significantly improved, he adds.
Eduardo hopes that the City of Yellowknife considers expanding the Fieldhouse to include a 60 to 80 metre track with weight and gym facilities. He says it would benefit all athletes.
"If we were able to... invest in a facility, train new coaches and develop the sport here in the territory, I think we will be amazed [with] what our N.W.T. track athletes can do in competition outside the N.W.T."
Both Luke and Lance say they want to be serious contenders and eventually compete at the college level, and then hopefully make it to the Olympics.
In the shorter term, both are preparing for the upcoming outdoor track season.
Luke has his eyes set on the N.W.T. Track and Field championships in Hay River.
Lance is vying for a spot on the N.W.T. track team to compete at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.