Spicer jumps back into previous event, earns berth at nationals
by Randy Pascal
Logan Spicer would be hard-pressed to suggest that he was anything close to a lock to be selected to attend the Canadian Legion Track and Field
Championships when he left Sudbury to compete at Legion Provincials in Brantford last month.
To suggest that the road that would ultimately lead him to join just two other District H athletes in donning the Team Ontario singlet in Brandon
(MB) would lay itself out the way that it did, well, that was pure folly.
"I thought 100% that I was going to be a 100m sprinter," he said. "That's what I was training for, that's what I thought would be my main event." It was also the
race in which Spice excelled at OFSAA, competing for the first year as a member of the Lo-Ellen Park Knights delegation in early June.
Spicer did well in the sprint at Legions, finishing fourth in a time of 11.58 seconds, just fractions above his performance (11.54) at the high-school all-Ontario
meet roughly one month earlier. But it wasn't the 100m sprint that allowed the Lively native to earn a berth to nationals.
That would be his first place finish in the high jump, an event in which he last competed while still in grade eight a year ago June. "The majority of my training
revolved around sprinting, but because sprinting and jumping are very much the same muscle groups, fast-twitch fiber based, sprinting workouts translate directly to
jumping," Spicer noted.
Truth be told, the well-spoken teenager was entered in the high jump more as a "District fill-in", slotted into a secondary event simply because he had the ability
to be reasonably competitive in the high jump pits. It turns out his upside was that and much more.
"I actually got a new PB during warm-ups (1.74m), so the adrenaline starting running," he said. "I came in at 1.60m, 1.65m, and I was clearing them, easily. At
1.80m, my mindset kind of went down. I remember thinking, I don't think I am clearing this."
"That was at the point where the bar is higher than my height, so it's really intimidating. I faulted my first jump, but came away thinking it might be possible. I
ended up clearing that one (1.80) and my mindset just shot straight up, and I ended up clearing 1.85m."
Though he would miss at 1.90m, Spicer had cleared the bar at the same height as OFSAA midget boys champion Kamal Tawsif, the Silverthorn Collegiate
Institute (Toronto) freshman who would find himself in a three-man logjam at 1.80 metres, trailing Spicer in Brantford.
With the natural physical cross-over between disciplines, perhaps it only stands to reason that the local talent points to the challenges, from the shoulders up,
in examining what he is capable of at nationals.
"You need to be mentally prepared, you need to be able to visualize yourself clearing that bar," said Spicer. "If you don't think you're going to clear that bar,
you're not going to clear it. It's as simple as that. I really think I can clear 1.90m."
Short-term, the high jump has leap-frogged the 100m dash, as Spicer attempts to maximize his medal potential in Brandon. "I recently reached out to Tom
Black, our local jump coach, and he's helped me out a lot."
"I need to work on my flexibility. But if I clear 1.80m, I am probably pretty close to gold. Last year's winning jump was 1.84 metres." More long-term, the picture
is somewhat more fuzzy. "I love sprinting, so I am definitely going to continue doing it," said Spicer.
"It's hard to decide what I am going to focus on, at this point. I think I am going to focus on sprinting, just because those workouts directly transfer over, but
I will do a lot of high jump practice. In terms of getting a scholarship, you want to be a multi-sport athletes, to be able to do multiple events."
"So from now until the end of high school, I am going to try and keep doing both." And doing both quite well, by the signs of things.
Logan Spicer will be joined by fellow high jumper Annika Jozin from Wawa and javelin champion Jenna Fleming from Desbarats in representing the
north-east region on the provincial contingent at the Canadian Legions, being held from August 10th to the 121th.