STELLARTON – There was plenty of glory to go around last weekend as local athletes did well and a 39-year-old record fell at the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation’s track and field championships.
Of all the achievements on Friday and Saturday at the Pioneer Coal Athletics Field, junior high school athlete Parker Swain’s heroics in discus were among the most electric.
Swain, representing Dr. W.A. MacLeod School in Riverton, soared to prominence when he broke a record that stood for nearly 40 years on Saturday. Bill MacQuarrie from St. Andrew’s school near Antigonish set the previous mark of 43.68 metres in 1977.
“So far, it’s been a very good season,” he said.
Swain – who turned 14 on February 28, is 6’3” tall and weighs 200 pounds – was also third in shot put and fourth in javelin.
“Discus is my favourite,” he said. “I don’t like javelin, but I like shot put.”
What makes Swain’s achievement so stunning are the narrow misses he recorded before and after his record.
Discus athletes competed in two rounds in order to qualify for the finals. Swain faulted the first two times in each round and had to nail his third try to move on. His throw in the second round left him in sixth place heading into the finals.
“Once I got to the final, it was a lot more relaxing,” Swain said in his usual understated fashion.
Swain first broke the old record with a throw of 43.70 metres and set a new mark of 43.75 metres with his second attempt to win the event.
His third and final throw was 49.70 metres, but it didn’t count when he faulted.
“I was a little disappointed,” he said.
Swain is setting his sights on the Royal Canadian Legion track and field championships this summer and the 55-metre standard in his age group.