Chris Pickering has had a lot of adversity to deal with this track and field season.
After breaking his collarbone and injuring his pectoral muscle, the University of Regina athlete was very happy to win a bronze medal in the shot put at the CIS Indoor Track and Field championships last weekend in Winnipeg.
“At the beginning of the year my main goal was to medal at nationals,” said Pickering. “I’ve been to six different nationals between junior, university and youth and I haven’t gotten a medal at nationals since the 10th or 11th Grade at Legion Youth Nationals. It was nice to get that non-medal streak done with.”
Pickering threw 17.32 metres at nationals, which was one centimetre shy of his school record throw set at the Canada West championships two weeks earlier.
Pickering wasn’t the only local athlete representing the UofR at nationals.
Ethan Gardner helped his 4x400m relay team to a new school record (3:19.29) and a fifth-place finish. The 4x200m team finished fourth in a time of 1:28.41.
Pickering’s bronze-medal performance was even more impressive given that he had injured his pectoral in the fourth round of throws at the Canada West competition.
“I had been doing lots of physio in the two weeks between Can West and nationals,” said Pickering. “I had tightened up after the first round (at nationals) and then really, really badly after throw five — which was my best throw. I was glad I got a decent throw out.”
Considering the injury, he was happy to come so close to his best competitive throw of the year. He finished four centimetres behind Drew Welch from Western Ontario who was second and Guelph’s Tim Hendry who threw 18.31m to win gold.