SEEK­ING A PB

Sum­mer­side na­tive to com­pete in dis­cus

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JA­SON SIM­MONDS

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.

JA­SON SIM­MONDS/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Matt Tan­ton prac­tises throw­ing the dis­cus on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

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