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BREAKING THE BARRIER – Jack Amos, seen here competing at the BC Cross Country Championships in 2016, raced in the Oregon Relays track meet in Eugene over the weekend. He ran the 3,000 and the 1,500. Photo by PHIL MCLACHLAN

Amos runs to personal best in Oregon track meet

A Dawson City teenager is continuing to build on a breakout running season.

By Marissa Tiel on April 18, 2017

A Dawson City teenager is continuing to build on a breakout running season.

Jack Amos, who first made his mark last year during the track and cross-country seasons is still developing his running career by chipping away at personal bests.

Last weekend, he did more than chip as he shaved more than 15 seconds off his fastest time in the 3,000.

Competing in Eugene, Oregon, on the same outdoor surface used by the University of Oregon track team, Amos clocked a time of 8:58.90, finally breaking the nine-minute mark. He ended up 15th out of 73 high-school aged racers.

“I had such a good time running that,” said the Yukoner, who is in Grade 10. “I was over the moon about that.”

The teen’s passion for running is infectious. In the winter, he would run – usually solo – in the freezing cold and dark of Dawson, sometimes meandering along the river, other times along the road.

His workouts were emailed to him by coach Don White in Whitehorse.

This semester, Amos is attending the Wood Street Centre and is getting to train with the small but dedicated group of youth under White’s tutelage.

If all goes to plan for Amos, this fall he’ll move farther south, to Victoria, where he will be able to train with the Prairie Inn Harriers, who are coached by two-time Olympian, Bruce Deacon.

Amos first heard of the team through running magazines and then saw them race in-person at a few races last year.

“They just seemed to have really good performances,” said Amos.

He emailed the coach and asked if he was in Victoria, could he join them.

Deacon said yes, and also invited the teen to join them for a handful of races this winter.

The first was at the beginning of February in Seattle. There Amos ran a 9:14 for his 3,000.

“I was alright with that,” he said.

In March, he attended the Alberta Indoor Track and Field Championships with the Yukon crew and won the U18 3,000.

His most recent trip with the Prairie Inn Harriers, Amos was able to run a few of coach Deacon’s workouts.

“It’s really good,” he said. “A lot of them (athletes) are my speed, if not faster.”

During Amos’ 3,000 in Oregon, he was checking his splits every 400 metres.

With 800 metres to go, he realized he might be able to crack nine minutes.

On the bell lap, he passed the line at about 7:50.

“I just put my heart and soul into the last 400,” he said.

His 1,500 didn’t fare as well.

“My legs were pretty dead after the 3,000,” he said.

He tripped and fell during the race.

“I lost my momentum after that,” he said. He finished 53rd in 4:25.10 and was only four seconds off his personal best in the event.

Amos is looking forward to a couple of months where he can focus on training. His next competition is likely to be the Jack Brow track meet in July.

Then, if everything goes according to plan this summer, he’ll have saved enough money to make the trip to Victoria for his Grade 11 year to train with Deacon and the Prairie Inn Harriers. With the money he has already saved from summer jobs, and the crowdfunding campaign he started (gofundme.com/help-me-train-in-victoria) he is close to his goal of $12,000.

This summer, with his planned jobs of junior lifeguard at the Dawson City Pool and a stagehand at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s, he is hopeful to continue his running career on Vancouver Island.

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