On Feb. 19, Ryan Terry represented New Brunswick in the 3,000-metre sprint at the Hershey Canadian Indoor Championships in Montreal, and Brandon LeBlanc was one of his coaches.
The St. Thomas University men’s track and field teammates also competed for STU at the Atlantic University Sport championships on Feb. 25 in Moncton.
Only 100 metres into the national race, Terry was in third place. Another runner stepped on his foot, and it made Terry fall down.
“I got up. I realized [the other runners] had quite a lead on me, and I did my best to finish the race,” said Terry, who was not injured in his fall.
He finished eighth in the event in 10:18.56. The winner of the race, Thomas Fafard, finished in 8:46.33.
Terry was aiming for a time of 9:14, with which he would have finished fourth.
He started track and field in Grade 12 under the recommendation of his gym teacher.
“I’ve loved it ever since,” he said.
Today, Terry is on the STU track and field team.
“It is a great new team. It has been a lot of fun.”
The six-foot-three, 170-pound runner from Riverview, N.B., was the only student from the university to compete in the Canadian championships.
“It is just great. Eventually, I would like to see more [STU athletes] come up.”
LeBlanc was among Terry’s coaches. He is also a fourth-year STU student.
For the third consecutive year, he was an assistant coach for Team New Brunswick.
“It’s a lot of fun to just work with athletes from all across the province and help them have good results here,” said LeBlanc.
A former member of the Athletics New Brunswick board of directors, LeBlanc also coaches independent athletes.
Since September 2010, LeBlanc has been a track and field and cross-country athlete.
“It is crazy fun. It is what I live and breathe.”
The five-foot-10, 140-pound runner from Riverview hopes to compete in the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
At the 2013 Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Que., LeBlanc finished 12th in the 400-metre hurdles.
Like Terry, LeBlanc is also on the STU track and field team. He left the team after his first year because he did not like the atmosphere under then-coach Alex Coffin.
Because he could not spend enough time with the team, Coffin resigned in December 2016.
“I joined the team, I think, literally two hours later,” LeBlanc said of Coffin’s resignation.
Greg Allan replaced Coffin at the helm of the team.
LeBlanc has known Allan since 2012.
“He trained many great athletes,” said LeBlanc. “He is a wonderful coach and a great addition to the program.”
Like LeBlanc, Terry thinks that Allan is a great coach.
“He has expectations for everyone. He wants everyone to give their full commitment.”
LeBlanc, Terry and the other track and field Tommies competed under Allan at the AUS meet on the weekend.
In his main event, LeBlanc eclipsed his STU record in the 600-metre run with 1:27.15.
Normally, the 300-metre is LeBlanc’s secondary event. But due to a groin injury, sprinting and using starting blocks are painful for him, so he switched for the 1,000-metre.
He posted a time of 2:47.91 in that competition.
Terry competed in the 3,000-metre. He aimed to break the STU record by 10 seconds and finish the race in 9:14, but he came in at 9:41.59.
He also raced the 1,500-metre run and posted a time of 4:25.06.
LeBlanc went from being Terry’s coach one weekend to being his teammate the next. He enjoys this relationship.
“It is interesting. I got to know him over the years. It has been fun being friends, teammates and coach and athlete.”
Other STU athletes who took part in the AUS meet included first-year Connor Ryan, who placed at 41.14 in the 300-metre dash. He also finished at 8.19 in the 60-metre dash.
On the women’s side, Hannah Clarke came in at 8.96 in the 60-metre and at 48.35 in the 300-metre.
Chelsey Hall placed at 44.78 in the 300-metre, while Kelly Brennen’s time was 52.48 and Noelle Gouchie’s was 54.46.
In the 600-metre, Gouchie’s finish was 2:02.56, while Jensen Elliott’s was 1:58.52.
In the women’s four-kilogram shot put, Shannon Morris threw 9.67 metres, while Olivia Ricketts went 8.43 metres, Laura Whitty was 8.21 and Anisha Romany’s distance was 7.81.
The 9.07-kilogram women’s weight throw saw Stephanie Gates toss up to 10.6 metres, while Ricketts’ standard was 9.98 metres, Whitty’s was 9.13, Morris’ was 8.62 and Katherine Conran finished with 7.86 metres.
Shannon Cornelius also participated in the 9.07-kilogram weight throw. She recorded a distance of 7.48 metres.
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