Decathlete Nathaniel Mechler has run, jumped and thrown his way to a national record.
The Elmira District Secondary School graduate was in Ottawa earlier this month to compete in the Athletics Canada Combined Championships, and walked away a record holder with a spot reserved for him in international competition.
The event lasted two days, with five events on each day, and now that he has exceeded expectations, will be traveling to Bydgoszcz, Poland on July 13 to represent Canada at the World Junior Championships.
Decathlete scores are tallied at the end of the ten events, with higher points awarded for better performances in each event.
“Say I run 11 seconds in the 100 m, then I would probably get like 850 points, or something like that,” said Mechler. “Then if I had run 12 seconds instead, I would probably have gotten only about 600 points, and then you just add it up after every event. Then you get your total at the end.”
The previous record for a Canadian junior decathlete was 7,179 points. To qualify for the World Juniors, he needed 7,200 points. Nathaniel tallied a whopping 7,592 points. He says that none of the events through the weekend in Ottawa stood out to him. Rather, he competed on an even keel.
“I just went through the weekend, and nothing was really bad and nothing was incredible. That usually means that you had a really good decathlon,” he said. “It takes a lot to surprise me, because I know what I am capable of. But, I was definitely happy afterwards.”
The sun was beating down and the mercury soared during competition. Mechler says it was a bit uncomfortable.
“It was a little warm, that is for sure. Usually I like the heat, but when it gets over that 32-33 degrees mark, and you are doing ten events in two days, it is kind of a little much at that point. It was hard,” he said.
Mechler will be boarding a plane with his trainer on July 13, with his sights set on the gold medal when he arrives in Bydgoszcz.
“It is coming up quick, and then I will be heading up to school in mid-August,” he said. “A couple of events, like the throws, didn’t go that great at nationals, so I am going to be working on that a little bit more. I am just trying to stay healthy. And I figured if I can stay in good health then I can really go for a medal, which is the gold.”