Katie Hart went into the final of the women’s javelin competition at the Canada Summer Games already holding the new territorial record in the open women’s category.
She also knew she wouldn’t finish any worse than 12th.
And she managed to improve on both of those marks on Aug. 19.
Hart went into the final in St. Catharines, Ont., qualifying 10th with a throw of 37.83 metres. That was the best of her three efforts during qualification and surpassed Gwen Young’s old record of 33.36 metres, set in 1991.
Hart said she was spooked a bit during the warm-up because she knew she was among the best in the country.
“I watched them in the warm-up and they can all throw really far,” she said. “I was nervous because they looked really professional.”
The NWT competitor would get three throws and, with her first, broke her own territorial record set three days prior as the javelin soared 37.86 metres. If that wasn’t good enough, her second throw was even better. It travelled 38.57 metres, improving on her twice-broken mark. That would end up being Hart’s best out of the three and would slide her into ninth place overall.
“That second throw really surprised me,” she said. “They were calling the number out and it was so exciting. All of the training paid off — I was hoping to get a personal best and get a few more centimetres, but ninth place is so exciting. It was an amazing wrap-up to the week.”
Kenzie McDonald, the track and field team’s head coach, said he knew Hart had more in her to throw.
“We talked after (the qualifying round) and the goal was to get to 38 (metres),” he said. “I knew she could do it and I think, deep down, she knew she could also. I know she wanted it. She was nervous about that warm-up, but I was trying to tell her not to worry about (her competitors). You can’t control what they do.”
Hart was set to compete in women’s discus but the decision was made to withdraw her due to concerns about her shoulder.
“I hurt my shoulder over the summer and the javelin irritated it a little bit,” said Hart. “I was disappointed because I like doing discus, but it was the right call. I didn’t want to put any more strain on it.”
Hart’s result was the major highlight for Team NT in week two. The Games wrapped up this past Sunday with the closing ceremony; Emily Carroll of the women’s volleyball team had the honour of carrying the NWT flag at that time.
Speaking of the women’s volleyball team, they were the other half of the week-two contingent and narrowly missed out on a qualification contest to get into the playoffs, finishing the round-robin with a record of two wins and two losses. That meant they played off against Yukon for 11th place on Saturday, but fell by a score of 3-1 in sets (25-19, 16-25, 25-17, 25-23).
Most of the NWT athletes arrived back in Yellowknife on Monday evening.