SEEKING A PB
Summerside native to compete in discus
Summerside’s Matt Tanton heading to Ottawa this week for Canadian junior track and field championships.
It’s a big week for Matt Tanton.
The Summerside native is the only Prince Edward Island athlete headed to the 2017 Canadian junior track and field championships for under-20 athletes in Ottawa. Tanton is scheduled to throw the discus on Friday.
“It’s a pretty simple sport, you throw it as far as you can, but you always try to set goals for yourself,” said the 19-year-old son of Keith and Cheryl Tanton. “For nationals I would like to get a personal best, and see where I rank.”
Tanton’s personal-best throw at this level is 44.66 metres, and he enters the nationals ranked eighth in the country. One adjustment Tanton has had to make at the junior level compared to high school is using a bigger discus.
Tanton, who leaves for Ottawa on Wednesday, recently passed the qualifying standard of 43 metres for the national championships.
This means he does not have to compete in the qualifying round on Thursday, and advances directly to the finals.
A graduate of Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside, Tanton recently completed his first year at Mount Allison, where he is majoring biology and played Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association basketball.
“I have been training since I got home from school in the middle of April,” said Tanton. “A lot of these guys will be training all year, but I don’t really have that luxury.”
A multi-sport athlete, who also starred in basketball, football and rugby, Tanton competed in discus along with other track and field through junior high and high school.
“I have been throwing for a while,” added a smiling Tanton, who entered the history books after breaking a 42-year-old P.E.I. School Athletic Association senior boys’ record at the 2016 regional west meet.
Tanton registered a distance of 47.95 metres, eclipsing the previous 46.92-metre mark of Montague’s Dave Lundrigan that was established in 1972.
Matt Tanton practises throwing the discus on Monday afternoon.