PacificSport National Athletics Centre 2005 Report for BC Athletics
2005 was a strong season for the PacificSport National Athletics Centre and was filled with strong results and positive changes. Led by Gary Reed a number of athletes had strong seasons, several athletes remained consistent while others had large breakthroughs. Head coach Wynn Gmitroski and Centre Director Brent Fougner continued to work together towards the Centre's goal of being a cutting edge training centre for world class middle distance and distance runners.
Following the 2004 Olympic Games several athletes took an extended recovery time to recharge for the 2008 quadrennial. For this reason several of the Gold and Silver level athletes opted out of the indoor track season. The outdoor track season started with a lot of excitement and success. Trevor O'Brien who has been working very hard over the last couple of years had a major breakthrough at the Cardinal Invite in May. Trevor improved his 1500m personal best to 3:42.70, which qualifies him for a development card from Athletics Canada. A couple weeks later on the same track Aimee Teteris ran a strong 800m to finish second at the Payton Jordan Memorial Meet in a time of 2:01.70.
As in 2004 Diane Cummins and Gary Reed had strong seasons, both ran well throughout the entire 2005 season. Diane had one of her best season debuts, running at the Qatar Super Grand Prix Diane placed fourth in a strong field with a time of 2:01.74. Dianne would go on to place well at several IAAF Grand Prix meets consistently in the top 5 and running in the 2:00-2:02 range. At the 2005 IAAF World Championships Diane ran well in a strong heat to make the semi-finals, in the semi-finals Dianne ran her seasonal best of 2:00.10 and just missed qualifying for the final.
At the Prefontaine Classic in early June Gary Reed won the 800m in a new Canadian Record of 1:44.82 edging out the Olympic Champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy. Gary's strong season would continue, at the Bislett Games he would once again lower the CR to 1:44.54. At the 2005 IAAF World Championships Gary won his semi-final section in yet another CR of 1:44.31 and guaranteed a spot in the final. After the world championships Gary finished on the podium at two IAAF Golden League meetings, in Zurich he placed second in a time of 1:44.88, while in Belgium he placed third in a time of 1:44.93. Gary would finish the season sixth in the IAAF rankings.
Three athletes from the Centre qualified for the 2005 Canada Summer Games taking place Regina, Saskatchewan. Eric Findlay in 10 000m, Geoff Martinson in the 800m, and Nicholas Walker the 3000m steeplechase all earned spots on Team BC. Geoff Martinson set a personal best of 1:51.28 to grab the Bronze medal, Eric and Nick placed seventh and sixth in their events respectively.
Two athletes from the Centre qualified for the Francophone Games taking place in Niger. Trevor O'Brien qualified for the 1500m and Melina Thibodeau qualified for the 800m and the 4x400m. Despite the adverse conditions both Trevor and Melina qualified for the finals in their events. The highlight of the meet was a silver medal for Melina with the 4x400m relay team.
PacificSport once again partnered with BC Athletics and the Vancouver Island Running Society for two very successful athletic events. The Time Columnist 10k road race was once again very successful with a strong elite field won by Steve Osadiuk on the men's side and Leah Pells on the women's side. A record number of entries was achieved for the 2005 event with over 10 000 people registering. The running and walking clinics were once again a success and will expand in 2006. The Victoria International Track Classic was held on June 10th with the largest crowd in recent years. Several of Canada's top athletes competed including Aimee Teteris, Angela Whyte, Gary Reed, Reid Coolsaet, Scott Russell, and many more. Despite the cool weather there were some great performances, the highlight of the night came in the men's 5000m with American Adam Goucher achieving the World Championships 'A' standard in a solo effort.
PacificSport's strong link with the University of Victoria continued with 2005 in what was a successful year for the UVic Vikes. In March a record number of athletes qualified for the 2005 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Indoor Track and Field Championships in Winnipeg. In May the Vikes along with a number of PacificSport athletes had a 2 week training camp in San Diego and the athletes were able to get a strong start to their outdoor season. A strong fall cross country season for both the men's and women's team was highlighted with both teams capturing the team Bronze medals at the CIS Championships held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The University of Victoria was happy to have the addition of Daniel Mallie as a student-athlete, Daniel is the product of the South Fraser Track and Field Club and the 2005 BC High School Champion over 800m.
Head coach Wynn Gmitroski and Centre Director Brent Fougner were both in Helsinki for the 2005 IAAF World Championships in August. Wynn once again has been busy with coaching clinics and seminars attending several high performance conferences in Europe. Wynn recently returned from the Athletics Canada training camp in Santa Barbara and will be part of the Athletics Canada staff for the Commonwealth Games in 2006. Brent has also been busy and is now coaching Achraf Tadili who started training with the National Training Centre in November 2005.
PacificSport Victoria has expanded over the past several months and will continue to expand in the future with the announcement of the Pacific Sport Institute in partnership with Camosun College. The Pacific Sport Institute will be world class training centre and a world leader in sport research. Along with the announcement of a new home several new positions were created, a performance analyst has been hired, a sport technologist, and a sports lab technician. The PacificSport Sport Technology Innovation Centre (SPIN) has been created to design and develop technologies specifically for the National Training Centres in Victoria. An engineer from SPIN is currently working with Brent Fougner to develop training tools for coaches and athletes.
The PacificSport National Athletics Centre has also expanded, Robert Connors has joined the Centre staff. Robert Connors who graduated from the National Coaching Institute in the spring of 2005 has been hired on to work with the centre's Bronze and Silver level athletes, help organize Centre events, and handle administrative responsibilities.