She gladly accepted the bronze medal, but Lauren Stuart isn’t exactly thrilled with her performance at the Canadian Track and Field Championships last weekend in Ottawa.
Stuart, who trains in Kamloops with world renowned throws coach Anatoliy Bondarchuk, threw 62.71 metres to place third in hammer throw, falling well short of her personal-best mark of 67.56 metres.
“It was not what I was hoping for, but I can’t complain with a bronze medal,” said Stuart, a Smithers product who moved to Kamloops three years ago.
Sultana Frizell also underperformed at nationals, but still won gold with a throw of 66.88 metres.
“I don’t know what was going on that day,” Stuart said. “Nobody really did that well.”
Frizell, 32, trained in Kamloops from 2007 to 2016, starting her training under coach Bondarchuk before moving on to Derek Evely in 2013.
She established the still-standing female Canadian record in May of 2014 with a heave of 75.73 metres.
Stuart, 25, said her goal is to compete for Canada at international competitions, with her next opportunity coming later this month at the Francophone Games in Ivory Coast.
Stuart, who spent five years at Northern Arizona University before moving to the Tournament Capital, won silver at nationals in 2014 and 2015 and finished fourth last year.
She has twice competed for Canada at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Championships, once in the under-23 competition and once as a senior athlete.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, are the next major event on Stuart’s radar. She is expecting the qualifying mark to be somewhere near 71 metres.
“I’m a few metres off, but there is a possibility,” Stuart said.