Preview: 2023 Legion National Youth Championships

With a legacy spanning over half a century, the Royal Canadian Legion has stood as an unwavering pillar of support for emerging track and field athletes across Canada. They have supported young Canadians through training and competition, including the Legion Youth National Track and Field Championships, which are Canada's primary and only nationwide meet that caters specifically to U16 and U18 athletes. This year, against the backdrop of Sherbrooke, Quebec, from August 11th to August 13th, this championship will not only showcase exceptional athletic abilities but will also celebrate grit, teamwork and determination. 

A great number of BC athletes will be fighting to earn an individual national championship title. While we can't possibly include everyone in this preview, let's dive into just some of the athletes to watch out for. 

For Team BC's full roster click here. 

Coming off her win in Costa Rica at the U18 NACAC Championships just a few weeks ago, Chloe Symon will be looking to put another gold medal around her neck. She ran a personal best of 55.37 to win her first international medal as part of Team Canada. Additionally, this season Symon won both the Junior Girls 400m at the Vancouver Sea to Sky Zone Championships and the BC High School Track and Field Championships. She comes into the Legion National Championship ranked first in the U18 400m, with her seed time over a second faster than her next best competitor. 

Other sprinters to look out for include Iyimi Fagbamiye, who is also fresh off of representing Canada at the U18 NACAC Championships. Fagbamiye will be competing in the U18 110m hurdles, coming in as the top seed with a time of 14.22 seconds. Makenna Self, another national team member, will be competing in the 100m. She is the second ranked seed, with a personal best of 12.17. Her sister Delaney Self will make an appearance in the 100m hurdles, where she is ranked within the top five seeds. 

In the distance events, Maella Hodgson comes in as the third seed in the U18 3000m. She holds a personal best of 10:00.43. Fellow Team BC member, James Hodgson comes in as the top seed in the boys division of the event with a time of 8:35.98 seconds. Two BC boys will be competing for a national championship in the U18 800m. Mark Molina comes in ranked second with a time of 1:53.37 and Bernardo Sada follows close behind as the third seed with a time of 1:53.40. The top seeded time stands at 1:52.80. 

As for the field events, we have a lot to look forward to!

Jasleen Nagra is ranked within the top three in the U18 long jump. Her seed stands at 5.62m. Joining her in with top positioning going into the meet are both Caidyn Maver and Alec Brent in the U18 high jump. Both athletes take the spot of top seed, coming in with marks of 2.01m. In the U18 pole vault, Mackenzie Hurtubise's seed of 3.87m is over 50cm more than the second seed.

Other top seeds include Gurleen Mander who will be competing in the U18 shot put. She comes in with the second best seed at 13.34m. Talia Phangura comes in as the only U16 athlete to have thrown over a mark of 14m. She is ranked first in the Girls U16 shot put with a seed of 14.23m. Tyson Servos  comes in as the second seed in the U16 javelin with a mark of 52.42m, while there are two athletes who reside in BC in the top two of the Boys U18 division. Martynas Bajarunas comes in as the second seed with a mark of 62.77m and Travis Harfield, who lives in Victoria, BC sits in the top spot with a seed of 69.69m. Last year at the 2022 Victoria Track Classic, Harfield broke the U16 Canadian record by 9 meters. 

The Girls U18 hammer throw will be a show to watch, with numerous BC athletes ranked within the top four. Lauren Curtis is your top seed going into the meet with a mark of 56.35m. She is followed by Katelyn Putz with a seed of 54.56m and Elise Drake who stands as the fourth seed with a mark of 52.57m. Adding to BC's talent in the hammer, Lawrence Man is the top seed in the Boys U18 category of the event with a mark of 56.21m. 

All these stories will unfold starting tomorrow, as we eagerly await the results of these talented athletes. Get ready to witness the triumphs, breakthroughs and comebacks - for these are the moments that define not only a championship but also the very essence of the sport.