It’s always an impressive feat to break a record. After all, they are made to be broken.
There are some records in track and field that have stood for decades, one of those being in women’s javelin. Gwen Young had held the mark of 33.36 metres since 1991.
That was until Tuesday afternoon.
Yellowknife’s Katie Hart now owns that distinction as she broke — no, shattered — that number in the women’s javelin event at the Canada Summer Games. Her first of three throws flew 37.83 metres, which was good enough for 10th place following the qualification round and seeing her through to the final on Friday.
The top 12 advanced through to compete for the medals, meaning Hart is guaranteed nothing worse than 12th place.
That’s a result she said she wasn’t expecting at all.
“I came hoping to get a personal best, so to get that was really surprising,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting to break the record by that much — I had seen it and I was hoping that maybe I would beat it by a few inches. But breaking it by that much was a total shock.”
It’s even more impressive when you consider there hasn’t been much in the way of track and field events at all for the better part of the past three years. No NWT Track and Field Championships since 2019 has meant little to no chance to compete or even practice.
Hart said she was very nervous before hitting the track, but excited to be able to compete once again.
“I haven’t competed since 2019, so I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “They gave us as many practice throws as we wanted on Monday and it was exciting to get back on a proper runway and get back into it.”
The final is set to happen at 9:40 a.m. MDT on Friday morning.
Indoor volleyball is also off and running this week with just a girls team from the NWT playing this time. They’ve split their first two matches to date: a 3-1 win over Yukon on Tuesday afternoon (13-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-18) and a 3-1 defeat to Prince Edward Island on Wednesday morning (21-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-16).
Head coach Darren Horn said the first set versus Yukon wasn’t the greatest his girls have ever played, but it was a case of stage fright for some.
“This is the biggest stage some of them have played on: real officials, national anthem, fans,” he said. “You prepare them as much as possible, but there were jitters, for sure, and that was the reason for the rough start.”
Some coaches would’ve made wholesale changes to the line-up to shake things up, but Horn said that thought never crossed his mind.
“The big thing is to not panic because I knew they’d come back strong,” he said. “We have a good group of veteran players on this squad and they knew what had to be done. We made a few small adjustments: keep the ball in play, stepping back on service reception, those sorts of things. Yukon didn’t have a big attack, so we knew there would be lots of free balls and it was all about handling those properly.”
The scoreline would indicate some good strings of service and Horn said that was the case, especially from Andrea Geraghty.
“Andrea had nine aces in the match,” he said. “We have a real good serving team and we don’t want to make things easy on the opposition.”
Wednesday morning’s game versus P.E.I. started out as good as it could’ve as the NWT won the opening set. Problem was P.E.I. remembered how to serve in the second set and took control from that point.
“(They) figured out their serving problems and started to get their game together,” said Horn. “We just let them get on too many long runs (and) we also gave up too many free points.”
The ladies are back on court tomorrow against Newfoundland and Labrador at 7 a.m. MDT.