KSS’s Riva on track for good things @ParksvilleNews #Interview #jcg2013

August 29, 2013



Oceanside’s Thomas Riva, above on the podium in Quebec at the Canada Summer Games after receiving his gold medal for finishing first in the 1,500m event, also mined silver in the 800m (Submitted photo by François Nadeau)

August 29, 2013 – By James Clarke 

PARKSVILLE QUALICUM BEACH NEWS – Further to our story last week on Qualicum Beach standout Thomas Riva, who made history in these parts recently when he garnered gold and silver medals at the Canada Summer Games, The NEWS caught up with the dedicated athlete to get his take on raising the bar.

Played Aug. 2-17 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, the national showcase, held every four years, featured over 1,200 athletes competing in 17 sports.

“It was great — the city of Sherbrooke did a fantastic job hosting it, and it was kinda cool to be around so many different types of athletes,” Riva, 21, recounted from Victoria when we finally caught up with him.

“Oh yeah — I definitely wanted to medal,” he answered quickly when asked if he had any expectations heading into the games, adding “I thought the 800m was my better event, but I thought I definitely had a good shot in the 1,500 final as well.”

As it turned out it was the 1,500m event in which he won gold (with a personal best time of 3.45:87), and his silver came in the 800m (1:48.91), an event in which he is currently ranked fourth in Canada.

The 1,500m race was decided on the home stretch when he pulled away in the last 100 meters, knocking a full four seconds off his previous best time.

“It was close but I just kicked it into high gear. It was pretty sweet,” he chuckled.

Riva, a Kwalikum Secondary grad and the younger of two siblings, honed his skills with Oceanside Track & Field for about eight years.

“I pretty much grew up with the sport,” he said.

The Canada Summer Games capped off a season — his third with UVic — that started indoors back in January. Riva is part of a UVic Thunderbirds track and field team of around 18 young men and women.

“It was a really good stepping stone for competing in multi-sport games and for representing Canada,” he said.

Riva, an engineering major, will now get a few weeks off to recharge the batteries before starting cross country in September.

Contacted via email (from Europe), UVic cross country/track head coach Brent Fougner had great things to say about his Oceanside standout.

“Thomas has a great work ethic and his determination to excel combined with natural talents make him a pleasure to coach,” said Fougner, who was a track coach for Team Canada at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, and is an eight-time CIS Coach of the Year heading into his 25th season leading UVic’s middle distance program.

He added, “Thomas came to UVic from a very successful youth program in the Parksville Qualicum area where knowledgable coaches guided him, developing his speed and running technique. Thomas’s unassuming and humbling nature is necessary in a successful runner where hours of running each week, most of the time alone, is not a sport for the prima donnas.

“His recent success this past year has come from his ability to gain self confidence in his races, allowing his competitiveness to take over,” said Fougner, who added, “Thomas has all the tools to go a long way in the sport.”


Two other OTFC graduates have competed at the Canada Summer Games:

Olympic high jumper Mike Mason from Nanoose Bay is the only other OTFCer to medal — gold in 2005 in Regina.

Parksville’s Alycia Butterworth, currently attending the University of Idaho on a track and cross country scholarship, competed in the 2009 games in Charlottetown, placing fifth in steeplechase.

Full article: http://www.pqbnews.com/sports/221660051.html

Rostam Turner to join brother with U of T Blues

May 10, 2013

Kelowna Capital News – May 10, 2013 – With the likes of Olympic medalist Dave Steen and former Canadian decathlon champ Mike Smith among the school’s alumni, Rostam Turner will soon join a track and field program with a winning tradition.

Add in the fact that his older brother and fellow decathlete, James, is already a member of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and Turner’s post-secondary choice was an easy one to make.

“They have a great program there and a great coach in Andy Higgins, so that will help a lot,” said Rostam Turner, who committed to U of T last fall. “It’ll be good to be together with (James) on the same team and at the same school. We’ve always helped each other out for training and things like that, so I think it’s going to work out. He knows the campus and the team and all that, so he’ll be able help ease me into things.”

Kelowna’s Turner brothers are among the best multi-event athletes ever to come out of the Okanagan. James won the Canadian junior decathlon (10 events) title in both 2011 and 2012, while Rostam struck gold in the octathlon at the Canadian youth track championships last summer in PEI.

Read full article: http://www.kelownacapnews.com/sports/206652651.html

Broken foot to NCAA national champ, it’s all coming around again for Clan senior Crofts

April 14, 2013

By Howard Tsumura, The Province

When Helen Crofts takes her place at the starting line of the 800 metres in just over a week’s time at the Mt. SAC Relays in California, she will be staring down the demands of her two-lap specialty safe in the knowledge that the past 52 weeks have indeed allowed her to come full circle.

It was at that very meet, and in that very race last season when Simon Fraser’s world-class middle distance runner noticed a pain in her right foot which was later diagnosed as a stress fracture, an injury which would not only wipe out her entire outdoor season, but perhaps most cruelly, keep her on the sidelines as spring turned to summer and trials for the Canadian Olympic team went on without her.

Read more: http://blogs.theprovince.com/2013/04/11/broken-foot-to-ncaa-national-champ-its-all-coming-around-again-for-clan-senior-crofts/

Rob Watson looking for Canadian bragging rights in Boston

April 14, 2013

Pre-Boston video interview by Flotrack, http://www.flotrack.org/video/704775-Rob-Watson-looking-for-Canadian-bragging-rights-in-Boston-_converted

Interview with Athletics Canada’s new High Performance Director, Scott MacDonald

April 1, 2013

Chris Kelsall (Athletics Illustrated) interviews Athletics Canada’s new High Performance Director, Scott MacDonald.


Post World-XC Interviews with Rachel Cliff and Chris Winter

April 1, 2013

Chris Kelsall (Athletics Illustrated) interviews Rachel Cliff and Chris Winter after their great results at World Cross Country.


Natasha Fraser – Brit Townsend – Interview

January 18, 2013

Chris Kelsall interviews Natasha Fraser and her coach Brit Townsend, for Athletics Illustrated: