It was quite a first impression to say the least for Aidan Turner at the B.C. Athletics Challenge last month in Kelowna.
Competing in his first-ever decathlon, the 16-year-old from Tsawwassen broke the U18 provincial record with a two-day aggregate total of 6,358 points. The breakdown of his 10 events included: 100 metres (11.97 seconds), long jump (6.31 M), shot put (11.95 M), high jump (1.72 M), 400 metres (52.97), 110 hurdles (15.08 seconds), discus (37.89 M), pole vault (4.30 M), javelin (39.09 M), 1,500 metres (5:10.51).
Turner already was a provincial record holder in the pole vault and thrives in other events too. He was always intrigued by the decathlon but didn’t get the opportunity to showcase his all-round ability until Kelowna due to the COVID-19 pandemic wiping out the competition schedule for the past 16 months.
His preparation included training up to four events per session with the Kajaks Track and Field Club out of Richmond, with no more than a five minute break between them. He credits his work with Kajaks head coach Garrett Collier who specializes in throwing events.
“Because it was my first one I didn’t really have any expectations for myself as I didn’t know how I would feel throughout the two days. How taxing it would be on my body,” said the soon-to-be Grade 11 student at South Delta Secondary who also had to deal with the extreme summer Okanagan heat. “It was very different than I thought it would be but I think I managed myself quite well. I had enough energy for all the events which was nice.”
Turner still has another year at the U18 level and already has his eye on the age group national record which he was 166 points short of reaching. He figures his best bet is shaving down his time in the 1500, the event he admits he needs the most work on.
“I was hoping for a 4:50 in the 1500. If I do exactly the same in the other nine events and do a 4:40 in the 1500 it would be enough points,” he added.
Turner was back in action a week later as Langley hosted the B.C. Challenge sprint and jumping events. He won pole vault (4.60) and 110 metre hurdles (15.48), and added a second place finish in the 200 metres (23.55).