Oceanside Track & Field standout Thomas Oxland has been named to the Canadian team selected to compete at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine, July 10-14.
According to OTFC co-coach Kim Longmuir, Oxland, 16, qualified for the excellent adventure by running below the world standard for the 800m event of 1:55, when he ran a personal best 1:53.2 June 15 in a Q Series Meet in Victoria, which ranks him second in Canada for his age and earned him a spot on the team.
“That’s like an 11,” the dedicated teen answered quickly when asked how it felt on a scale of one to 10, adding his main goal at the beginning of the year was to make the team, “so I was pretty happy.”
“There was only one other guy in the race, and a pacer, so that was good — he took us through pretty quickly, and then I finished as strong as I could,” Oxland said of the memorable race when The NEWS caught up with him.
He said he wasn’t a hundred per cent sure he’d qualified for Team Canada at the time because there were other runners still trying to qualify, and he didn’t find out for sure until last Tuesday’s practice at Ballenas Secondary School.
One of four boys, Oxland lives in Nanaimo and attends Dover Bay Secondary but has been training with Oceanside Track & Field for the past six years with his twin brother Peter.
Team Canada is comprised of 51 U18 athletes (23 boys and 28 girls) from across the country. In all, 17 BC athletes made the team — seven boys including three from the Island and 10 girls (two from the Island).
“This is a first for OTFC and for Randy and I as coaches, and needless to say we are very proud of Thomas,” said Kim.
Oxland was to compete in the 800m at the Pre-Jerome Meet at UBC on Saturday, and leaves to assemble with his teammates in Toronto July 6, which flys out to Istanbul, Turkey, the following day.