Fraser twins leaping past the competition
42-year provincial long jump record broken last weekend
Denver Fraser had trouble deciding which moment was better, beating a provincial long jump record that had stood for 42 years, or finally beating her sister Gabby at triple jump.
“That’s a very tough choice,” she said, with a smile. “I think breaking the record was a pretty good achievement ... Gabby got one last year, so I had to get one this year.”
That might be her understatement of the day. Her gold medal-winning 5.49-metre long jump at the NSSAF provincial championships in Stellarton on Saturday bested the mark set by Cecelia Branch in 1975. Branch is a Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame athlete who made the Canadian Olympic team in 1980, but did not get to compete in the Moscow games due to a boycott by western nations.
“It was pretty wild,” said Denver. “I knew I had the potential to do it because my personal best was around there. I just knew it would take all I could give, however, I know I can do better.”
It was a memorable weekend for the 16-year-old twins from Advocate, who always thrive in competition against each other. This was their first year in the senior girls category.
Denver also captured gold in the triple jump with a personal best 11.08-metre jump, an event that her sister usually dominates. Gabby won the silver medal with a 10.96-metre jump.
“Denver got a huge PB, 11:08, which is Canada Games standard,” said Gabby, who couldn’t resist pointing out that it still didn’t beat her PB in the event. “She doesn’t normally beat me in triple jump.”
In fact, it was Denver’s first time beating Gabby in triple jump since they were in Grade 7.
Denver also narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish in the 100-metre dash, while Gabby was fifth in the 200-metre and seventh in the 400-metre.
The two sisters accumulated enough points between them to place Advocate sixth in the team standings for senior girls.
“I guess we’ve just been working hard all season,” said Gabby. “We know what we have to do to get where we want to be and make sure by the end of the season we did everything possible we could do to compete at the best of our abilities. We have to prove that every other year was no fluke.”
Next year will be their last for high school track, and they are hoping to attract attention from universities. Attention to their studies has also been paying off, with their marks usually in the high 90s.
Managing their time between training and studying has been another challenge they have overcome.
“We work really hard on our grades, and it’s going well,” said Denver. “We have to manage our time because we train in Truro, and don’t get home until 11 p.m., then have to study and do homework. We make sure school is a priority for us, because we really want to get into a good school and hopefully get a scholarship.”
Meanwhile, they have another summer ahead of them, and hope to once again compete in track at the national level. Trials for the Canada Games and the Royal Canadian Legion nationals
come later this month.
Gabby (left) and Denver Fraser of Advocate put in a strong showing at NSSAF track and field provincials again this year, capturing gold and silver in triple jump. Denver also won gold in long jump, breaking a 42-year record.