A trio of up-and-coming Antigonish runners will make their debut on the national stage this week.
Malia Artibello, Mairin Canning and Siona Chisholm – members of the Antigonish Track Club – are preparing to compete in the 2018 Royal Canadian Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships.
“I am really excited that we are all going together – it is going to be a lot of fun,” Artibello said, prior to a recent practice on the St. F.X. campus.
They are also accomplished athletes with the highly-decorated Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School program.
“I am little nervous – it is going to be the biggest and toughest competition that I have ever been in,” Chisholm said.
The provincial record holder in the 2000m (6.27) is ranked third in Canada in that classification. She will also compete in the 1200m at nationals.
“I love the longer distances,” Chisholm noted.
Canning, who will also race in the 1200 and 2000m, is ranked sixth (6:42) in the latter classification.
“I think I am pretty equal in both,” she said, when asked which discipline is her strongest.
Like their teammate, Canning and Artibello admitted they are “a little nervous.”
Artibello, who will race in the 300m, qualified for nationals on the strength of her performance at the 2018 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF) track and field championships.
“I am really excited about running on such a big scale,” she said.
Artibello quipped, unlike her teammates, she is not as much of a fan of the longer distances.
“I want to get a personal best and stick with the top few [runners],” Chisholm said of her goals for nationals.
Her teammates also targeted achieving personal bests as their focus.
In the lead-up to nationals, the Antigonish runners competed in the Nova Scotia and Atlantic championships last month.
The young racers will be joined by Diego Marshall of Chapel Island (see accompanying story in this edition), as representatives of the Antigonish-based club on the 38-member Team Nova Scotia/Nunavut.
“It is very exciting – a tremendous accomplishment,” ATC coach Gina MacInnis said.
The three-day national championship meet – commonly known as ‘The Legions’ – will take place from Aug. 10 to 12 in Brandon, Manitoba.
For more information, including the full Team Nova Scotia roster, visit athleticsnovascotia.ca