A step ahead of the field

By Jamie Harkins

May 17, 2018 2:50 PM

Baron Blake Killam, right, leads his team to a win in the intermediate 4X100m relay during the ASAA district championships at LCHS on Tuesday. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO

“Take it easy on us, Blake.”
You likely heard that phrase if you were standing near the competitors before the Track and Field District Championships’ 100-metre dash, 200-m dash or 4X100-m relay at Lloydminster Comprehensive High School (LCHS) on Tuesday.
LCHS Barons athlete Blake Killam obeyed the call, but he still won each of the three events.
Killam started the district meet by flying past his fellow competitors for first in his core 100-m discipline.
He led his team of Garret Hatchard, Cole Stephens and Ethan Mather to gold in the 4X100-m relay in his last event by letting fellow Baron and senior team fourth runner Garrett Musgrave watch him quickly pull away despite both picking up the baton at roughly the same time.
The 200-m dash didn’t exactly pose a challenge to the Grade 11 student. But, it did provide a new test considering he only took up the event this past year.
“The 200 is definitely a lot different,” said Killam, who also trains with the Lloydminster Split City Sonics track and field club.
“Fast 100 sprinters can’t run the 200 because they need that speed and endurance. Originally, I didn’t have a lot of endurance. I just lifted weights all the time, so I was strong. But, I didn’t have much speed endurance.”
Cole Bloxam, head coach of the Barons track and field team, said Killam puts in an extra effort toward his training day in and day out resulting in a strong start to the season.
He said that drive stems from a desire to be the best with any success gained up to this point being well earned.
“I used to be a distance runner, but I just love watching those big strong sprinters,” said Killam.
“They’re so powerful. I kind of fell in love with it, so I started lifting and getting stronger and bigger and I started getting faster.”
Killam has an opportunity to reach a provincial or national podium for the first time after a disappointing start in both left him looking in last season.
A hamstring injury cost the sprinter his high school track and field chance last spring, while a stumble out of the blocks in the 100-m event at the National Legion Track and Field Championships forced him to sit out the 2017 Canadian finals in August.
The 100-m standard is 10.9 seconds for the 2018 National Legion Track and Field Championships, noted Killam, and his hope is that it can be reached in order to earn a spot back there this summer.
However, he said the first step will be a few strong runs this Wednesday during the zone meet at LCHS where a top-two finish guarantees a berth at the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association championships.
“It will be a little bit tougher,” said Killam.
“But, I’m used to competing at the provincial and national level, so I’m hoping to just gut out a few victories in my 100, 200 and 4X100 and hopefully bring my 4X100 team to provincials.”

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