The Morn­ing Crew

Early start can’t stop shot-put­ter

Ottawa Sun - - SPORTS - — Lori Ewing

OTTAWA — The alarm went off early for Brit­tany Crew’s shot put event Sun­day morn­ing.

But Crew’s body clock is well-prepped to throw at any time of day or night, thanks to the mock com­pe­ti­tion work she’s done with coach Richard Parkin­son.

The 24-year-old from Toronto, who made his­tory last sum­mer as the first Cana­dian woman to throw in a world shot put final — she fin­ished sixth — added an­other na­tional ti­tle to her re­sume on Sun­day morn­ing. Crew’s win­ning throw of 18.27 me­tres at Terry Fox Sta­dium was over a me­tre bet­ter than the rest of the field.

Crew de­scribed, with a laugh, the bleary-eyed work she and Parkin­son first did to get Crew ac­cli­ma­tized for morn­ing com­pe­ti­tion. It be­gan be­fore the 2016 Rio Olympics, where qual­i­fy­ing was in the morn­ing and the fi­nals at night.

“First time I did it, at 10 a.m., I was in tears, be­cause I don’t get up early. He made me get up at 5:30,” Crew said.

To mimic the com­pe­ti­tion for­mat, she’d throw three times be­gin­ning at 10 a.m., with 10-minute in­ter­vals be­tween each throw.

“It’s about get­ting the body ac­cli­ma­tized, espe­cially if you’re not a morn­ing per­son, let’s get you used to wak­ing up, get­ting your clock and your rhythms all ready for that time,” Parkin­son said. “By the time that first qual­i­fy­ing prac­tice was over, she was cry­ing. It was aw­ful. She said ‘I hate morn­ings!’ But I have a graph that shows that it got steadily bet­ter the more we did it.”

He did the same to ac­cli­ma­tize throw­ers Trin­ity Tutti and Grace Ten­nant, who are in Fin­land to com­pete at the world ju­nior cham­pi­onships.

“I had them drive in from Wel­land. I said ‘First throw is at 10 a.m.’ I gave them three throws with 10-minute in­ter­vals in be­tween, so they’re stand­ing around, hav­ing them wait. Be­cause what’s that wait like? And then be­cause the shot put final’s at night, I said ‘See you later!’

“They said ‘What are we go­ing to do for the next six hours?’ ‘I dunno, you tell me. What are you go­ing to do in Fin­land?”

Crew, Tutti and Ten­nant are part of a throws pow­er­house in the mak­ing at Ath­let­ics Canada’s East Hub based at York Uni­ver­sity. Parkin­son has about 15 throw­ers in his group. At the re­cent On­tario high school (OFSAA) cham­pi­onships, Tutti broke Crew’s Cana­dian in­ter­scholas­tic shot put record, and broke a 32-year-old in­ter­scholas­tic dis­cus record.

Crew’s vic­tory was also a rare chance for her mom Kim­ber­ley to see her com­pete in a big meet. Crew’s younger brother Luke is autis­tic, and so can’t at­tend meets with big, noisy crowds.

“It’s nice for mom to have a break and come here and just fo­cus on me, be­cause for the past five years it’s been all about him. She’s happy to be able to get away,” Crew said.


Brit­tany Crew par­tic­i­pates in the se­nior women’s shot put at the Cana­dian track and field cham­pi­onship in Ottawa yes­ter­day.

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