Spencer and Bailey Smith have a lot in common.
First, they’re siblings and live in Tracadie with parents Darren and Kathy Smith.
Second, both are P.E.I. School Athletic Association provincial track and field champs after last week’s provincials at UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place in Charlottetown.
Spencer, 18, won the senior men’s 400 metres in the new record time of 52:39, earned 200 metres gold in 24:00 and his Morell Regional High School squad finished second in the 4x400-metre men’s relay.
But breaking Dave (Eli) MacEachern’s 24-year-old PEISAA 400 metres record of 53:00 set in 1986 when the Olympic gold medalist was a Colonel Gray student had Smith’s attention, at least until the starters gun.
“I was running for a record,” said Smith. “But, when I was running not really thinking about it. Didn’t think about it until after. While I’m running I try not to think about that the stuff too much.”
Bailey, 13, took first-place ribbons in bantam girls 100-metres, 200-metres and high jump.
“Just a good day,” said Bailey, a Grade 8 student at Mount Stewart consolidated. “I’m pretty pleased. It was raining (a bit) during the 100 and 200. I could have run faster in one of them.” Her personal-best 100 metres time is 13:06.
And third, Spencer and Bailey train with Colin MacAdam, coach of the 2009 P.E.I. Canada Games athletics squad.
Spencer was member of that team and finished 15th in the 400 metres, his best time a 50:72 time in the 400 metres. His personal 400-metre best is 50:60 and at the provincials was coming off a hamstring injury suffered about a month ago.
“Not too bad a time (for the record) considering the conditioning I didn’t get,” said Spencer.
Either way, it’s new record and said MacEachern, who won Olympic two-man bobsleigh gold in 1998 in Nagano, Japan, it’s about time.
“I’m pretty surprised it lasted 24 years,” said MacEachern, who lives in Charlottetown.
MacEachern set his PEISAA record on dirt. Spencer set his on the new, state-of-the-art track, one MacEachern considers the third or fourth fastest in Canada.
“There are a lot of records that will be broken. Technology is going to change the sport,” he said.
Next for the siblings is possibly a summer of racing. Bailey might compete in age-appropriate events if her times qualify while Spencer is set to run at the 2010 Canadian junior championships and world junior trials next month in Moncton, N.B.
He’s set to attend Holland College in September, enrolled in the sport and leisure management program.
“I owe a lot of thanks to my coach,” said Spencer. “I ran a good race, but a lot goes to him and the work he put in.”
The Smith’s cousin, Kennedy Laybolt, a Grade 9 student at East Wiltshire school, finished first in the 4x400 midget girls relay, second in the 400 metres and second in the 800 metres. Laybolt trains with MacAdam, too.
Spencer Smith and sister Bailey Smith’s results from the recent PEISAA track and field championships:
- Spencer: Senior, 200-metres: first, 24.00 seconds, Morell regional; 400 metres: first, 52:39 (set new PEISAA record); 4x400-metre relay: second, 4:02:16, Morell regional C.
- Bailey: Bantam, 100 metres: first, 13:13 seconds, Mount Stewart consolidated; 200 metres: first, time not available; high jump: first, 1.35 metres.