Armstrong's big toss betters own Canadian record
Dylan Armstrong saved his best for last in the men's shot put competition at the Canadian track and field championship on Saturday.
The Kamloops, B.C., native improved on his own Canadian record after heaving the shot 22.21 metres on his sixth and final throw. He let out a triumphant scream when the distance was announced.
"I was happy," said Armstrong, 30, who won his sixth Canadian title. "I've been cranking a few out over that mark in training. It was overdue. I'm actually happy that I broke the Canadian record at the Canadian senior championships.
"I had a lot of people come up to me and say that it would probably be pretty memorable for them. It's kind of cool to hear that."
Armstrong also had throws of 21.75, 21.89 and 21.78, while his closest competitor Timothy Nedow of Brockville, Ont., won the silver medal with a toss of 18.69 metres. Andrew Smith of Carrot River, Sask., finished third at 18.24.
"A lot of the younger guys have really stepped up as well so they're looking good," said Armstrong, who still has a ways to go to break the world record of 23.12 metres set by American Randy Barnes back in 1990. "The future's looking good for everyone."
Armstrong's future will include a trip to the world championships Aug. 27 to Sept. 4 in Daegu, South Korea.
"I'm just going to keep my head down and keep pushing towards Daegu," said Armstrong. "I got a really good finger flick on that last one. You get in that real patient position and just strike it and everything feels good but at the same time effortless too."
While she didn't set a Canadian record, Julie Labonte of Ste-Justine, Que., did set a meet record in the women's shot put competition with a throw of 18.12 metres.
"I wanted to do more, but it's still good for me," said Labonte, who also won gold in women's discus on Friday. "I've been working really hard. To win two gold medals this weekend is really amazing."
Toronto sprinter Crystal Emmanuel also snagged her second gold medal of the meet on Saturday when she won the women's 200-metre final in a time of 22.99 seconds. After the race, Emmanuel fell to the track in pain favouring her right foot.
"I was running in the middle of the race, I felt a pop at the side of my foot," said Emmanuel, who also prevailed in the women's 100 final on Friday to become the first woman to accomplish that feat since Hamilton's Erica Witter won both the 100 and 200 in 2003. "It hurt, but I pushed through it. I'm glad I pushed through it and didn't stop."
Bryan Barnett of Edmonton, won the men's 200 final in a time of 20.71 seconds to edge out Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I., by four hundredths of a second.
In the women's 100 hurdles final, Perdita Felicien won her 10th Canadian title with a time of 12.80 seconds.
"You'll probably get me trying it for another two or three more and then after that I've got to shut it down," said Felicien, a native of Pickering, Ont., who recently relocated to Calgary to concentrate on training with coach Les Gramantik. "To race and win here is very, very exciting. It's my new home.
"Pickering will always be my hometown, but everyone here has really been warm and embraced me, so it's kind of nice to show up and for them today and win 10 here."
After initially being charged with a false start, Pickering's Nikkita Holder ran the race under protest and finished in third behind Phylicia George of Markham, Ont. Later Holder's disqualification was overturned and she was awarded the bronze.
In the men's 110 hurdles final, Pickering's Ingvar Moseley won in a time of 14.26 seconds despite knocking down several barriers.
"I clipped a lot but there's one that I really hammered," said Moseley, 19, whose next goal is to break the 14 second barrier. "I feel like I would have been there if I didn't stumble a bit. It's all good coming out with the W."
Adam Kunkel of Whitby, Ont., won the men's 400 hurdles in a time of 50.80 to edge out Gabriel El Hanbli of Repentigny, Que., by two hundredths of a second.
The women's 400 hurdles wasn't as close as Sage Watson of Medicine Hat, Alta., won in a time of 59.72, which was more than a second ahead of Traci Boss (1:00.96) of Coquitlam, B.C.
In women's hammer throw, Heather Steacy of Lethbridge, Alta., won gold with a throw of 70.86 m. Defending champion and Canadian record holder Sultana Frizell of Perth, Ont., finished second at 70.17.
Later in the afternoon, Heather's brother Jim Steacy took the men's hammer throw title with a toss of 76.27 m.
In women's pole vault, Carly Dockendorf of Port Moody, B.C., won gold with a jump of 4.10 metres. Quebec City's Melanie Blouin cleared the same height, but it took her more attempts, so she had to settle for silver. Meanwhile, Mark Dillon of Bowmanville, Ont., won gold in men's high jump by clearing the bar at 2.19 metres in less attempts than three other competitors who accomplished the same feat.
Toronto's Jacob Zorzella won the men's triple jump with a leap of 16.11 m, while Caroline Ehrhardt of Espanola, Ont., prevailed in women's triple jump (12.64).
Jenna Martin of Caledonia, N.S., won the women's 400 final in a time of 51.95 seconds, while Tremaine Harris of Markham, Ont., prevailed in the men's 400 final in 46.24 seconds.
In the women's 800 final, Helen Crofts of West Vancouver, B.C., won gold in a time of 2:05.05 to edge out Montreal's Lemlem Ogbasilassie by just one hundredths of a second. Andrew Ellerton of North Bay, Ont., won the men's 800-metre final in 1:52.12.
Sheila Reid of Newmarket, Ont., captured gold in the women's 1,500-metre race in 4:16.97, while Nathan Brannan of Cambridge, Ont., won the men's 1,500-metre final in 3:50.33.
Evan Dunfee of Richmond, B.C., won the men's 20-km race walk in a time of 1:25:15.0, while Rachel Seaman of Peterborough, Ont., won the women's 20 km race walk in 1:37:46.0. In the junior men's 10 km race walk, Benjamin Thorne of Kitimat, B.C., set a new Canadian junior record with a time of 41:34. Megan Wylie of Langley, B.C., won the junior women's race walk final in 53:53.
In the women's 400 para-ambulatory race, Noella Klawitter of Carelton Place, Ont., Meghan O'Brien of Kitchener, Ont., and Leah Robinson of Petersburg, Ont., each won their classification.
In the men's 400 para-ambulatory race, Dustin Walsh of New Westminster, B.C., Brandon King of Brampton, Ont., Ottawa's Stuart McGregor and Rick Ball of Orillia, Ont., prevailed in their classifications.
Saskatoon's Keira-Lyn Frie won the women's 1,500-metre para wheelchair event, while Josh Cassidy of Guelph, Ont., took gold in the men's 1,500-metre para wheelchair competition.
In men's para shot put, Rob Hughes of Sarnia, Ont., set a new Canadian record in his classification with a throw of 8.99 metres.
Meanwhile, Kyle Pettey of Brampton, Ont., and Issa Ouedraogo of Sherbrooke, Que., took their classifications in men's shot put, while Toronto's Martha Sandoval-Gustafson won gold in the women's para shot put event.