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Hurdler leaping over hurdles
Rocky Mountain Outlook

Canmore Hurdling Prodigy Leaps to Gold

Boruta’s journey from a novice hurdler to a provincial champion highlights the power of perseverance and hard work

Life is full of hurdles, but Canmore athlete Lukas Boruta often finds himself overcoming 10 hurdles simultaneously. 

Lukas Boruta on the podium at the ASAA’s Track and Field Championships in Edmonton
Lukas Boruta on the podium at the ASAA’s Track and Field Championships in Edmonton | Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy | Facebook

Boruta is a hurdling all-star and finished first in the 100 metre (m) hurdle event at the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association’s (ASAA’s) Track and Field Championships meet in Edmonton last month. 

The Grade 10 sprinter finished just shy of the junior boys record in 100m hurdles of 13.25 seconds set in 2015 by Calgary’s Mehrdad Shokoohi. 

Boruta’s time was 14.21 seconds, 0.35 seconds ahead of the closest runner. He fought hard against seven other competitors to earn his gold medal.

In the first heat, Boruta fell and had to reevaluate his strategy. Instead of focusing on the gold medal, Boruta set his sights on not falling in the final heat. 

Next thing he knew, the other competitors were in his rearview mirror. 

“This is an anomaly and an impressive statement to Lukas that he was able to beat a whole bunch of city kids,” Jane Marzetti, track coach at Our Lady of the Snow Catholic Academy (OLS), told Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Boruta’s story is similar to that of many of Alberta’s most successful athletes. He started hurdling after his Grade 9 teacher, Kendra Silk, convinced him to try the sport. 

“She inspired me to take on hurdles because she saw that I had potential. It was kind of weird to get used to at first, but then I progressed, and my flow got better. Then I started liking it more after I started seeing more improvement,” explained Boruta. 

Becoming a hurdling prodigy was a hurdle, but like an uncut gem, Boruta polished his skills through hard work. He even trained independently at home to prepare for the provincial championships.

No Shortage Of Talent in Small Towns

Boruta wasn’t the only athlete in the spotlight. Eleven students from Sundre High School qualified for the ASAA’s Track and Field Championships. 

The high school previously won the divisional meet and earned the South Central Zone 2A Championship banner.

Women competing at the ASAA’s 2015 Track and Field Championships
Women competing at the ASAA’s 2015 Track and Field Championships | Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association

The top athletes at the provincial championships were Aspen Luzi, Nike Sleurink,  and Haydyn Scott. Luzi won the gold medal in the junior women’s high jump.

Scott and Sleurink reached new heights winning silver in the junior men’s pole vault and bronze in men’s intermediate pole vault, respectively. 

Honourable mentions include Bella Packer, who placed fifth in javelin and Doel Martyn, who finished seventh in discus. 

Sundre’s ranks were strengthened by Evyn Read, who won the gold medal in the intermediate men’s pole vault at the ASAA’s 2019 Track and Field Championships.

The athlete’s efforts earned Sundre a fifth-place finish at the provincials, demonstrating the fierceness of Alberta’s athletes. 

Last week, six Bow Valley high school seniors were recognized as athletes of the year: Jordan Lakusta, Jay Porter, Nathan Adam, Ariane Thomson, Macsen Hempstead, and Taylor Desrosiers.

With so many youth talents, it’s no wonder Alberta produces so many Olympic athletes. 

In 2016, 20 Winter Olympians trained or lived in Canmore, the highest number of any province in Canada when considering population size, ahead of Whistler, British Columbia, and Calgary. 

The many athletes at the 2024 ASAA Track and Field Championships show promise, including Boruta, who earned a gold medal a year after starting his hurdling journey!

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