LANGLEY, British Columbia – Incoming Trinity Western middle distance runner Mirelle Martens (Grande Prairie, Alta.) made Spartans history over the weekend, as she won a silver medal in the 3000m at the 2015 Pan American Junior Championships in Edmonton, becoming the first TWU-bound track and field athlete to win an individual medal at the biennial meet.
Martens, who will arrive at TWU this fall after transferring from Grande Prairie Regional College, crossed the line with a time of 9:41.20.
“There was a pack of four of us for most of the race, just running together with (Erin Dietz of the USA) in the lead and the other Canadian (Anne-Marie Comeau), and me, side-by-side,” Martens told the Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune.
“With about a kilometre-and-a-half to go, I passed (Comeau) and (Dietz) started picking up speed a little bit. I really tried to push hard in the final kilometre and close ground on (Dietz) – I think I started closing ground, but I couldn’t get her, but I’m so happy with the silver. It’s still pretty special (representing Canada) every time I put on that singlet. It’s really cool and really special. I love representing Canada, for sure.”
Two days after Martens took silver, TWU’s Caleb DeJong (Winnipeg) just missed out on earning a medal himself, as he finished fourth in the 3000m steeplechase with a personal best time of 9:17.35. DeJong was coming off a gold medal-winning effort at the Canadian national junior championships where he won the steeplechase in 9:18.05.
While Martens and DeJong competed on the track, in the field Spartans pole vaulter Madison Evans (Calgary) finished sixth after clearing 3.50m. Like DeJong, Evans also earned a gold medal at the national junior championships and entered the Pan American junior championships with an outdoor personal best of 3.80m.
Nathan George (Coquitlam, B.C.) is the only other TWU athlete to win a medal at the Pan American Junior Championships as he earned a bronze medal with Canada’s 4x400m relay team in 2013. That year, he also finished seventh in the 400m while fellow Spartan Regan Yee (South Hazelton, B.C.) was seventh in the 3000m steeplechase.