Silver lining for Teal
Carter Teal appears to have found his niche.
The 17-year-old E.L. Crossley student dropped the long jump in favour of the 400 this summer and the early results have been impressive.
Teal took home a silver medal in the U18 boys 400 with a personal best time of 48.59, accomplishing a season-long goal of breaking 49 seconds at Youth Nationals in Sydney, N.S., earlier this month.
Teal was one of seven athletes who represented the Thorold Elite Track and Field Club at the competition.
“It’s definitely been difficult because at the very beginning I found I was a little nervous for it and I didn’t know what it was going to be like,” Teal said, when asked about the challenge of racing in the 400. “I’m going from the 100 and 200 to the 400. I was going from being a short-distance sprinter to a mid-distance guy.
“It’s pretty hard to see yourself in the 400 when you’ve been doing the 100 and 200 for so long.”
Teal previously finished fourth in the U18 Boys 400 at Athletics Ontario Championships in Windsor, missing out on a medal by 0.03 seconds.
“I started it pretty early this year and got into it. It was a full second between races which is crazy in the 400,” Teal said. “I was at 49 and couldn’t break 49. It took three or four or five races and I was finally was able to break 49. I got 48.59 and was really happy with that. I was ecstatic. All the hard work I put in during the season paid off.”
Teal, who gives credit to Thorold coach Steven Fife and training partner Noah Dommasch for his quick progress, didn’t place in the 100 or 200 at nationals.
“I was really expecting to do a lot better in the 400 (than the 100 or 200). It was probably my race,” Teal said. “To get second overall at nationals was an amazing experience.”
Fife feels the sky is the limit for Teal in the 400.
“You can see the difference from the first 400 he ever ran where he hit a wall at the 300-metre mark and the last 100 was pretty tough to now running in Nova Scotia where he was much more conditioned as a 400-metre runner and finished strong right at the line,” Fife said. “Expect him to continue with the 400 as his major focus next year and we will plan our training accordingly.”
Teal feels the 400 may be his ticket to running at a higher level.
“I definitely think this will take me the farthest. I’ve seen improvements in the 100 but very slim, not as big as the 400,” he said.
Teal plans to speak with representatives from the University of Toronto this week and is also exploring options south of the border. He is interested in the business aspect of physiotherapy and would like to own his own business one day.
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