Jesse Hooton

VANCOUVER – For the first time in his life, Jesse Hooton will get to put on a Canada jersey and represent his country in a track and field event.

The distance runner from North Vancouver, B.C., is one of 42 athletes selected to the Canadian team for the IAAF World Junior Championships, taking place July 22-27 in Eugene, Ore. Hooton, a graduate of Handsworth Secondary School, will take part in the 10,000-metre run and is the only male athlete from BC on the Canadian team.

FULL CANADIAN ROSTER

“It’s something that I didn’t really expect, apart from the last month. That’s when I realized it might actually happen,” said Hooton. “I think my nationals performance went well enough in terms of proving my fitness.”

Hooton was fifth in the men’s 5,000 metres at the 2014 Canadian Junior Track and Field Championships last past weekend in St-Thérèse, Que., finishing the race in 15:07.57.

He made the World Junior Championship standard on March 30 at the UBC Open when he finished second in the 10,000m with a time of 31 minutes and 24.92 seconds. That mark has held up as the top Canadian junior time far this season.

At the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in May, Hooton placed 14th in the 10k, crossing the finish line in 32:49.80.

“It’s a big leap for sure,” said Hooton about representing Canada for the first time. “I think all of this will sink in more so after the competition.”

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