Nelson’s Matti Erickson is a national champion after winning two gold medals in his debut at the Canadian Legion Youth Track and Field championships.
Erickson, 16, took first place in the under-18 men’s 800 and 1,500-metre races in Sydney, N.S., that ran Aug. 9 to 11.
The L.V. Rogers student won the 800 in one minute 53.82 seconds, a personal best, and took the 1,500 gold in 4:03.50.
Erickson said his goal was to win the 1,500, but the 800 was a surprise.
“It was just a secondary race. I just did it for fun and see what happens,” he said.
“I set up my season to be as well prepared for both races as possible so after I won in Kamloops [at the B.C. Jamboree last month] that gave me some good confidence I was going to come back and PB in the race and hopefully take the win.”
Erickson previously won gold in both distances at the B.C. High School Track and Field Championships in June. At that event he broke his own provincial record in the 1,500, which he finished in 3:56.31.
The 1,500 world record, set by Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj in 1998, is 3:26.00.