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:

Inside the Runner’s Mind

November 5, 2012

Inside the Runner’s Mind is a podcast featuring interviews with some of BCs most expectional runners, both past and present. Hosted by BC Johnny (aka John Atkinson), recent interviewees have included former Olympians Carey Nelson and Art Boileau, and Octogenarian World Record holder BJ McHugh.

Listen to all the interviews at http://bcjohnny.podbean.com/

Interview with Natasha Fraser

September 17, 2012

By Chris Kelsall, Athletics Illustrated

Natasha (Wodak) Fraser of Port Moody, British Columbia is preparing to compete in her favourite running discipline, cross-country. She plans to race the Canadian Cross Country Championships that take place at Jericho Beach near downtown Vancouver on Saturday, November 24th.

On September 1st Fraser ran a new 10,000m personal best at the BC 10,000m Championships in Victoria, BC. She finished first in thirty-three minutes and forty-four seconds. Fraser has won the 50,000-competitor strong Vancouver Sun Run in under 34 minutes. She also won the Victoria TC10k that takes place one week after the Sun Run.

She competed in the NAIA for Simon Fraser University. She suffered burnout and after taking a break from competition came back refreshed with a new level of enthusiasm.

Read the interview, http://athleticsillustrated.com/interviews/natasha-fraser-interview/

‘Emotional’ Jessica Smith wins spot as B.C. athlete on Olympic Track team

July 3, 2012

VANCOUVER — The weariness was evident in Jessica Smith’s voice on Monday, having arrived back in North Vancouver the night before from Calgary after the weekend’s drama-filled Canadian track and field Olympic trials.

“It’s been pretty emotional and physically draining for the last couple of days,” admitted Smith, who got the necessary top three finish in the women’s 800 metres, albeit by just 9/100ths of a second.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Emotional+Jessica+Smith+wins+spot+athlete+Olympic+track+team/6873291/story.html#ixzz1zahWPZZx

Living a passionate life

April 20, 2012

By James Clarke, Parksville Qualicum Beach News

An interview in two parts with Wheelchair racer Michele Stilwell.

Part 1: http://www.pqbnews.com/sports/147677745.html

Part 2: http://www.pqbnews.com/sports/148193415.html

Cliff Childs Interview

January 3, 2012

By Chris Kelsall

University of Victoria Vikes cross-country and track athlete Clifford Childs, in his fifth and final year of eligibility, helped his team to their ninth, tenth and eleventh Canada West cross-country titles in the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport). They placed third nationally, with 82 points finishing behind Guelph (20) and Windsor (49), respectively on November 12, 2011.

While the Kelowna, BC native and Vikes Team Captain is finishing up his economics degree, he is planning on helping the Vikes to more team awards at the CIS Track and Field Championships, to cap off the 2012 Vikes season March 8th through 10th at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

Read the interview: http://athleticsillustrated.com/interviews/clifford-childs/


John Atkinson podcast – Inside the Runner’s Mind

December 1, 2011

VFAC’s John Atkinson has launched a new podcast.   The premise is to interview exceptional runners and members of the running community – finding out why they run and how/why running has become such an integral part of their lives.

Kicking off the inaugural episode of Inside the Runner’s Mind is an interview with one of the fastest masters runners around:  British expat and Canadian transplant, Kevin O’Connor.  Hear about Kev’s cherished red spikes, his nutrition secrets and how he famously hired a new coach after PB-ing in the ’96 Sun Run.

Brew yourself a pot of tea, sit back and put your feet up, and listne to the in-depth interviews here: http://bcjohnny.podbean.com/

Cameron Levins Interview

December 1, 2011

By Brandon Laan

Runners Feed had the opportunity to catch up with the 2012 Canadian Cross Country Champion who also placed 4th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships one week ago! Levins shares how much he values his friends and family and how he can’t wait to don the red and white singlet post collegiately (perhaps at the 2012 London Games!).

Read the interview: http://runnersfeed.com/interview-with-canadian-national-cross-country-champion-cam-levins/


Geoff Martinson Interview

December 1, 2011

By Christopher Kelsall

Geoff Martinson is a Canadian Olympic hopeful and IAAF Worlds Track and Field Championships competitor (Daegu 2011). Martinson competes in middle distance events and is on the cusp of making the 2012 London Olympic Games in the 1500m.

Martinson is a seven-time Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) All-Canadian and was the University of Victoria’s Athlete-of-the-Year for 2009, his final year at the University.

He owns several other varsity athletic accomplishments possibly best capped by his 2008 and 2009 CIS 1500m Gold Medals and 4x800m team Gold.

Read the interview: http://athleticsillustrated.com/interviews/martinson-geoff-2/

Mark Bomba Interview

July 28, 2011

By Chris Kelsall, Flotrack

Three-time Canadian national champion Mark Bomba recently joined Trinity Western University as the team’s Endurance Director.

He was a national champion in both the 10,000 metre and half marathon distances (in 2005) and in cross-country ( 2000). Bomba competed in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in 2005, the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 2001 and 2003 and the Chiba Ekiden Relay in 2002 and 2004. He was also the 1993 NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) national champion in the 1500 metre event while competing for Vancouver’s, Simon Fraser University.

In my own experience in wanting to develop a deeper understanding of training methodologies, I have had extensive conversations with Bomba about great athletes and coaches from all over the world. His knowledge of the Australian, English and especially New Zealand-based athletes and coaches is extensive. Like most of those coaches, he has been nothing but open and willing to share.

The following interview delves into his love for the sport, the lifestyle and the profession. He provides in-depth answers in a way that will provide any reader an excellent perspective on the sport of distance running especially from the collegiate and national levels.

Read more: http://www.flotrack.org/article/7014-Mark-Bomba

Cameron Levins Interview

December 7, 2010

By Chris Kelsall

Cameron Levins of Black Creek, British Columbia, capped his 2010 cross-country season Saturday, November 27th with a stunning victory at the AGSI Canadian Cross Country Championships in Guelph, Ontario.

Levins (29:25.7) finished 24 seconds ahead of the favored, Rob Watson and 39 seconds ahead of Reid Coolsaet, both of whom train with the Speed River Track Club. He also finished well ahead of former NCAA All-American Kip Kangogo (30:22.7) and 2010 NCAA steeplechase champion Matthew Hughes (31:10.7) who runs for the University of Louisville.

Athletes had to face freezing temperatures and a snow-laden course. Earlier in the day a mini-blizzard swept through the region.

Levins is currently red-shirting at Southern Utah University where he is working on his degree in Exercise Science. I had the occasion to catch up with Cameron recently to talk about his win and goals for the coming indoor and outdoor track seasons.

Read more: http://www.flotrack.org/articles/view/3825-cameron-levins-canadian-cross-country-champion

Jennifer Joyce delivers RJT in Prince George

August 12, 2010

On Tuesday, August 10th, Jennifer Joyce delivered RunJumpThrow to 40 kids in Prince George as part of an ActNow BC Athlete Ambassador visit. She visited children at the Carney Hill Neighborhood Summer Program and also spent the afternoon leading drills at PacificSport Northern BC’s XploreSportZ camp.

Click here to see an interview with Jennifer where she talks about the importance of teaching children sports skills early, and specifically the basics of track and field.

The Sprinter and the Quarterback: Channell endures, thrives while cherishing memories of Dittrich

May 21, 2010

By Howard Tsumura, The Vancouver Province

Between her tears, the ones that tell you that her grieving is a process still in progress, Jane Channell comes to the realization that she has broken out in a smile.

And that’s a good thing, because on too many days since the sudden Nov. 11 passing of her boyfriend, 21-year-old Simon Fraser Clan quarterback Bernd Dittrich, those same tears have choked at her words.

Therapy, it seems, can come from the simplest acts of courage, like talking about your greatest loss.

Read the complete story: http://communities.canada.com/THEPROVINCE/blogs/littlemanoncampus/archive/2010/05/08/the-sprinter-and-the-quarterback-channell-endures-thrives-while-cherishing-memories-of-dittrich.aspx

Lovett’s lift-off reaching world class heights

May 21, 2010

By Howard Tsumura, The Vancouver Province

In Django Lovett’s world, art is doing a pretty fair imitation of life these days.

On June 5 at Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium, the senior from Langley’s Brookswood Secondary will attempt to become the first boy to win three straight provincial prep high jump titles when he competes at the Subway B.C. high school championship meet.

But before then, you can catch Lovett on stage as part of his school’s annual drama festival, an event in which students pen their own scripts with casting courtesy of the student body.

Read the complete story: http://communities.canada.com/theprovince/blogs/high_school_hamper/archive/2010/05/20/lovett-s-lift-off-reaching-world-class-heights.aspx