Airdrie throws athlete Jinaye Shomachuk is continuing to take the Alberta track-and-field community by storm.
The Airdrie Aces member set another provincial record Feb. 29 to March 1 at the 2020 Alberta Indoor Track and Field Championships in Edmonton. Competing at the University of Alberta, Shomachuk claimed gold in the U18 women’s weight throw competition with a top distance of 18.93 metres (m). The distance not only won the 16-year-old the gold medal, but it smashed her previous personal best (PB) by more than half a metre.
“I was definitely happy to PB,” said the Bert Church High School student. “I had kind of hoped to PB a bit more than that and maybe break 19 m, nevertheless, I’m still incredibly happy to PB and break that record.”
Highlighting her dominance in the event, Shomachuk’s gold-medal-winning throw was more than six metres farther than the second-place athlete. According to her coach, Rachel Andres, Shomachuk is creeping up on the national record, as well.
“She wanted to break the Canadian record, but she’s still really happy with the distance she ended with,” said Andres, who competes for Team Canada in discus and coaches track and field at Olds High School. “That would have been the national record two years ago.
“We’re hoping she breaks the national record come next fall – it’s 19.86 m, so about a metre ahead of where she’s currently at.”
Shomachuk also earned gold in the U18 women’s shotput with a PB of 13.5 m – 1.5 m farther than the runner-up.
“I’m very proud of how far she’s come,” Andres said. “We’re looking forward to an even better outdoor season.”
Whether on the provincial or national stage, Shomachuk has won numerous gold medals in throwing events over the last two years, including weight throw, hammer throw, discus and shot put. While weight and hammer throw are her strongest events, she said she’s trained hard this winter to improve at discus, working on her technique with Andres on the indoor soccer field at Genesis Place Recreation Centre.
Heading into the 2020 outdoor season, she is the favourite to win the women’s throws events at the Alberta Schools Athletic Association championships, as well as at provincial club meets in the summer months. She said she’s setting her sights on breaking the national U18 records for both discus and hammer throw.
“My coach has said, with the training I’ve done over the winter, she thinks it’s a definite possibility for me,” Shomachuk said.
The Grade 11 student is currently in the process of deciding where to attend university. Andres said Shomachuk’s progress shows she has the potential to earn an athletic scholarship to a NCAA Division 1 school, adding she promotes the athlete’s accomplishments to college track-and-field coaches throughout the United States.
“I have a friend who just took over a NCAA Div. 1 program that is very interested in her, down at Louisiana Tech, as well as a couple other colleges she’s looking at,” Andres said. “At this point, she’s very much NCAA Div. 1 material – she’d be competitive right now at the college meets and could probably medal in most conferences.”
Shomachuk said she is still weighing her post-secondary options, adding her long-term objective is to compete at the Olympics.
“That’s the ultimate goal at the end of the day,” she said.