When it comes to javelin throwing, Jordan Ellingson is on a fast track to success.
The towering Maple Ridge teenager has only competed in the track and field discipline for a little over a year and he’s already ascended to a national level.
Last July, he won gold in javelin at the BC Summer Games in Surrey.
The next month, competing in the midget (14- and 15-year olds) division, Ellingson added to a successful summer with a gold medal at the Legion national championship meet in Charlottown, P.E.I.
Since then he has graduated to the youth (U18) level, where the level rises to a whole new stratosphere.
“This is 16- and 17-year-olds,” his dad Brent said. “Jordan’s 16 so he’s at the bottom of this grouping.”
Brent added, “We’re really proud of him. He’s worked really, really hard at it.”
The B.C. youth silver medalist in javelin, Ellingson ended up fifth out of 14 competitors during the 2013 Legion Canadian youth track and field championships.
The national meet for 14- to 17-year-olds ran Friday to Sunday (Aug. 9-11) at McLeod Athletic Park (MAP) in Langley.
“I would have been happy with a podium finish,” Ellingson said. “But you can’t get that in all of them.”
Ellingson plans on returning to the Legion nationals in 2014 when the meet returns to MAP.
“Just keep training, keep doing what I do,” Ellingson said, when asked what he needs to do to make another appearance next summer.
“I’d like to go for gold. A podium [finish] would make me happy,” he said.
Ellingson’s introduction to the sport came at the urging of Ryan Gee, his P.E. teacher at Maple Ridge Christian School (MRCS).
“His teacher at school thought he should try it out,” Brent recalled. “He went out to the Fraser Valleys and won the Fraser Valleys, then went to the provincials and won the provincials, and it just kind of went from there.”
Ellingson is pursuing his track and field endeavours south of the Fraser River, training under the guidance of Langley Mustangs’ throwing coach Tom Nielson.
Meanwhile, at the high school level, the Grade 10 won bronze at the 2013 provincials at MAP, where he competed against Grade 11 and 12 athletes.
Also at this year’s legion national competition, Ellingson competed in shotput, an event he took up about a month-and-a-half ago.
Ellingson describes throwing events as “pretty relaxing.”
“You just sit down, talk with everybody, then you get your moment,” he said. “All eyes are on you.”
Success in throwing comes mostly from technique, said Ellingson, adding that “strength obviously helps.”
Ellingson also plays basketball for MRCS, and loves both track and hoops equally.
“With basketball, it’s fun being on a team and with track, it’s all on you,” he said.
Ultimately he’d like to earn a university scholarship in track and field.
@ Copyright 2013