Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Running for worlds

Running for worlds
New Haven’s Jared Connaughton, a silver medallist at the recent Pan American Games
in Brazil, is now looking ahead at a possible berth on the Canadian team
for the world track and field championships in Japan


The Guardian

NEW HAVEN — While Jared Connaughton is enjoying the moment, his thoughts are in the future.

And the not-too distant future.

The 22-year-old New Haven native hopes his performance at the Pan American Games was enough to earn a spot on the Canadian team for another shot at international competition later this month.

Connaughton ran the third leg on the silver-medal winning national 4x100 relay team at the Pan Ams in Brazil Saturday night.

“I’m kind of waiting here for the world championship team to be announced,” Connaughton told The Guardian on Tuesday. “If I was a betting man, that squad that got a silver medal will be on that world team.”

Should he be selected, Connaughton will attend a training camp in Singapore before heading to Japan for the IAAF worlds starting Aug. 25, in Osaka.

Team Canada is expected to be named this week.

Coming off a star-studded intercollegiate career with the University of Texas at Arlington track team, Connaughton combined with Richard Adu-Bobie of Ottawa, Anson Henry of Pickering, Ont., and Edmonton’s Brian Barnett to finish second at the Pan Ams, in a time of 38.87 seconds.

Brazil won the gold in 38.81, while the Americans won bronze in 38.88.

There was a uniqueness to medalling at the Pan Ams.

“It’s my first relay triumph so it’s great in a lot of ways because it’s a team aspect,” said Connaughton, who returned to the Island Monday night.

“Obviously, UTA won the (Southland) conference title this year, but as far as (being) on the international stage with three other guys it was sort of a unique thing for me. It’s the biggest international medal I’ve won thus far and that’s going to bode well for my chances in the future.”

The silver medal provided a nice finish to the Games which also saw the Islander compete in the 200, where he advanced to the semis.

“Unfortunately, the 200 didn’t go as planned. I got bad lane draws, lane two in both races. I had to do a lot of work to get into the mix.

“To come back in the 4x100, really put on a good show and almost win is great, especially because it’s such a young team.”

The Canadian quartet was the youngest in the final. Like Connaughton, Adu-Bobie is 22, Barnett is just 20 and Henry is the oldest at 27.

The four had beaten the Brazilians in the semis before being edged in the final.

“We got beat, but at end of the day we said we have a ton left and we have a lot of room for improvement on the handoff. Brazil ran a perfect race and just beat us.”

Connaughton was one of four Prince Edward Islanders which participated at the Games.

Kara Grant of Stratford was fourth in modern pentathlon, Katie Baker of Argyle Shore and her field hockey team wound up fifth while Jarrod Ballem of Marshfield was eighth in the 10-kilometre open-water swimming event.

Island native Susan Lemke, now living in British Columbia, was a coach with the archery team.

Connaughton, a 200-metre bronze medalist at the Canadian championship in July, competed in his second NCAA outdoor championships a month earlier to cap a brilliant university career with the Mavericks.

He was a four-time Southland Conference champion, advanced to the Division 1 nationals this year in two disciplines - the 200 and 4x100.

At the Midwest Regionals in Iowa, the former SLC athlete of the year and his relay teammates recorded the third fastest time in school history by finishing second in 39.65 seconds.

He calls his UTA experience “amazing”.

“To go down there as sort of an unknown, I established myself up here, but in Texas it’s a whole (different) ball game. I feel like I did myself justice.”

The anthropology major, a double gold-medal winner at the 2005 Canada Games and a qualifier at the ‘06 NCAA indoors at 60 metres, has represented Canada at the 2004 IAAF world juniors in Italy.

This year he was selected to Team 2012 identification program by Athletics Canada.

The program ranks athletes and their coaches in gold, silver and bronze levels based on their podium potential for the 2012 London Olympics.

But don’t rule out 2008 in Beijing. He’s not.
Connaughton garners spot on track team
Islander makes the Canadian 4x100 squad for the world championships in Japan
The Guardian

NEW HAVEN — Jared Connaughton is going to the worlds.

The New Haven native was informed Wednesday of his selection to the Canadian team for the 11th IAAF world track and field championships in Osaka, Japan.

The 22-year-old joins Richard Adu-Bobie of Ottawa, Anson Henry of Pickering, Ont., and Brian Barnett of Edmonton on the 4x100 relay team.

The four combined for a silver medal at the Pan American Games in Brazil Saturday night, finishing behind only the host country.

“To come off my final collegiate season and go straight into the international stage without any sort of delay, I’m proud of that,” Connaughton told The Guardian.

Just 16 teams are scheduled to compete in the relay at the worlds, which run Aug. 25 to Sept. 2.

“It’s one semifinal, two sections, so it’s about being efficient and being patient, but also being very aggressive and treating it like a final,” said the former University of Texas at Arlington Maverick.

The top four teams from each group advance.

“We certainly have a terrific shot at that, but at the same time we really have to bring it.”

Shannon King of Brampton, Ont., and Neville Wright of Edmonton, were also named to relay squad, one which Connaughton feels is strong.

“Everyone has been very consistent this season, everyone has had relay opportunities and with that, confidence has to be up, especially after the Pan Ams,” said the Islander.

Connaughton made the semifinals of the 200 at the Pan Am Games before running the third leg of the relay.

“The third leg is either the make or break portion,” he said. “It’s the third leg that establishes the lead and I felt I did a pretty good job of that. Again, there are some things we can improve upon.”

While not scheduled to run the 200 at the worlds, Connaughton is hoping that might change.

The Canadian team leaves Aug. 11 for a two-week training camp in Singapore before moving on to Japan.


Canadian track and field team at a glance

* Tyler Christoper and Perdita Felicien headline Canada’s 28-athlete team at the world track and field championships, Aug. 25-Sept. 2 in Osaka, Japan.

* Thirteen members of the team recently won medals at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro. Christopher and Felicien both won silver.

* Pan Am hepathlon champion Jessica Zelinka will not be able to participate in Osaka having suffered a ruptured plantar tendon during the 800 metres portion of her event in Rio.

* The Canadian team will head to Singapore on Aug. 11 for a two-week training camp ahead of the championships.

(From The Canadian Press)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Jared! We hope to see your success in Beijing and beyond.

Sanyo massage chairs