Darian Keewatin on the podium after winning the gold medal in U18 high jump.
Darian Keewatin can jump.
The 15-year-old track and field athlete from ENDHS in Bonnyville competed at the Alberta Indoor Provincial Championships and earned the gold medal for high jump in the U18 category at 1.80 metres.
Plus, he hasn’t even been able to practice high jump during the indoor season.
He does get to work on his sprinting and long jump though thanks to the Lakeland Yellowjackets.
This has been his first season committing to track and field and the results are starting to show.
“It’s been going pretty good. My race aspect hasn’t been the greatest. I have to work on a lot of technique and form and get out of the blocks quickly,” said Keewatin.
“But with my long jump and high jump, I’d say I’ve been doing pretty successful. I’ve been beating a lot of my personal bests and placing pretty well.”
Starting the season jumping around 1.65 metres as a personal best, he’s noticed the changes in his overall ability through the year.
“I was kind of struggling with 1.65 [metres]. More so the mental aspect of it. Then I started to learn more so understand what I was capable of and just carried me off literally,” he said.
Keewatin has played other sports like football and handball, but decided to invest his time into track and field roughly a year-and-a-half ago.
“I enjoy just the personal aspect of it. The physical benefits you get out of it, the mental benefits makes you feel great,” he said.
“It’s nice to go out, get yourself out there, go to competitions, see what other competition is out there and what kind of goals need to be set and just basic aspects like that. It’s nice to have the challenge.”
Training with the Yellowjackets has allowed him to learn from the likes of Larry Godziuk, who coaches the team.
“He’s been an absolutely phenomenal guy. [He] works us to the bone when we’re at practice since we only see him two times a week. He’s very old school with his training methods, but that’s kind of what all of us like to prefer,” he said.
With the weather getting warmer and indoor season wrapping up, the focus is now steered to competing outdoors.
“It’s really nice and it gives me an idea of what I need to work on and I can actually start training for high jump now,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to the outdoor season. Getting better, working harder and trying to set as many personal bests as possible.”