JESSICA CASTLE

When did you join NTFC? What other favourite sports or activities do you regularly partake in? 

This is my first year in NTFC, I was really looking forward to being a part of a new team and having a good season which unfortunately got cut short. I also play basketball, soccer an volleyball for my high school!

Which event(s) did you compete in? What were some of your goals/targets going into the outdoor season before it was scrapped? 

My events were the 800m, 1500m, and 1500m steeplechase. I took a year off from running in grade 11 and was hoping to get some new PBs this year and just get a feel of where I was at compared to other runners.

Is there an event that you secretly wish you had tried and why? 

I've always wanted to try pole vault,13 it looks like so much fun and you look so cool when you can do it well!

Which annual track meet did you most look forward to? Recall a highlight. 

My favourite meet was actually the Elwood Wylie meet in Nanaimo. I used to run for the CVACs in Duncan and haven't competed in an actual race since being on that team but going to the Nanaimo track meet was always my favourite. It's not a huge track but bigger than Duncan, since it's not far from home I always still felt comfortable and it's a meet I would always try new events at.

Rank and briefly describe your top 3 track memories. 

The first day I joined NTFC was definitely my top memory so far. I have never really been a part of a team before because in my past club there was no other distance runners. As soon as I arrived everyone was so kind and introduced themselves and I felt at home right away.

My next favourite memory was from BC Games, it was such a fun experience for me and I loved every second. I remember the 4x400m relay was right after my 1200m and I was exhausted from it but wanted to run in the relay anyway. Tyler gave me the opportunity to do so and I was very thankful. I just remember receiving the baton and adrenaline taking over my whole body and I didn't even feel the race at all.

Finally my last memory was from the Nanaimo meet in 2016 where I qualified for BC Games, it was my first time running steeple chase and only my second meet ever and I was so surprised I qualified!

Name a coach, athlete or mentor that had an impact on your track career so far. What would you like to say to them? 

Not to sound cheesy but definitely Coach Tyler! Before I joined NTFC he would always say hi at school meets and talk about my running, even when I was competing seriously. He convinced me to come back to track after my year off because he said he saw potential in me. For that I am forever grateful!

What are your plans next fall? 

I am going to UVIC to pursue a degree in Earth and Ocean Science. I hope to run for the school in my second year. Because of this whole Covid19 situation I will be doing most my learning online and therefor will be staying home unfortunately. I think a year to adjust to university life and classes is what I'm going to need before jumping back into intense training.

How do you see yourself involved in track and field in the future? 

Yes for sure, I would like to run for my university. Down the line I think I will come back to a club as well and hopefully be a coach! I love working with kids and it's a great way to give back to the people that helped you.

How about some words of wisdom for up and coming young track + field athletes? 

I think the biggest piece of advice is that you have to want success for yourself and not because you are seeking praise from others. Although track is technically a team sport, you are competing against everyone there, so you have to believe you can be successful and you have to want it.