Pronghorn thrower Jim Steacy’s winning streak runs almost as far as his national record of 75.96 metres in hammer throw.
At 22, the fifth-year kinesiology major is a three-time Canada West (CW) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) champion in weight throw. After taking last year off from the CIS to represent Canada at the Commonwealth Games, he is returning to university competition with two very specific goals.
“I want to continue to be undefeated in CIS weight throw competition and take a run at the CIS shot put record,” says Steacy.
After a year contrasted by major successes and a fairly major injury, Steacy is grateful to be on track with his sport.
Steacy ended 2005 by winning a gold medal in hammer throw at the Francophone Games in Niger in December. That success was a prequel for setting a new Canadian record in hammer throw at a meet in Brisbane, Australia, two weeks prior to winning the silver medal in the same event at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March.
“My first time on a senior national team was at the Francophone Games, so to go over there and win was huge for my confidence level. Competing in front of more than 83,000 people at the Commonwealth Games will stand out for me as a first and a tremendous experience,” says Steacy.
Those high points were followed by an accident that laid Steacy low for 10 weeks. “Two weeks after I got home from Australia, I broke my leg in a game of pick-up basketball here at the U of L. I landed on my foot funny and popped my fibula,” he says.
Steacy looks back at the recovery process as a step forward. “I haven’t really had any time off in the past three years, and the injury forced me to rest. I came away hungry to compete and re-energized,” he says.
He marked his return to competition by breaking his own national record in hammer throw at the Alberta Provincial Championships in July.
His world ranking points through the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) earned him the opportunity to compete for the Americas at the World Cup in Athletics in Greece in September.
On his way to a sixth place finish in hammer throw, Steacy beat the thrower who had taken gold from him at the Commonwealth Games and former Olympians.
“I was competing against the 2004 Olympic champion and the 2003 and 2005 world champion. To gain that kind of knowledge about competitors on that level is invaluable,” says Steacy.
Since throwing is a sport where athletes peak in their late 20s and early 30s, there is every indication that Steacy’s farthest throws are yet to come. He says the facilities in the new Centre for Sport and Wellness will help him work toward his long-term goals of competing in the 2007 world championships and 2008 Summer Olympics.
“Lethbridge is going to be my training base in the upcoming years, and having this kind of facility at this point in my career is a huge benefit,” says Steacy.
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