Jacob Taylor’s confidence is brimming.
Back from capturing two gold medals at the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto/Hamilton, Taylor – a Pleasant Valley Secondary School Grade 11 student in Armstrong – has his sights set on putting his name in the record book.
“This isn’t the last time you’ll hear from me,” said Taylor, who won the gold in discus and his specialty event, javelin, at NAIG. “I’m after the U18 Canadian (javelin) record.”
The record – 75.99 metres, set by Windsor’s Trevor Snyder in 1999, a couple of years before Taylor was born – was set with a 700 gram javelin. At NAIG, athletes used a 600g javelin. Taylor was the class of the field, winning gold with a toss of 57.23 metres. The silver medalist, Dylan Francis of Nova Scotia, measured in at 40.55m.
The discus was nearly the same. It was a lighter implement than Taylor is used to throwing, and he won gold with a toss of 42.31 metres, despite giving up several inches to the silver and bronze medalists – Keith Dennis of New Brunswick, 37.41m, Drayden Lapratt, Saskatchewan, 35.51.
“It was very fun,” said Taylor, who has been hampered by a nagging case of tennis elbow on his right throwing arm, of the Games. “I met lots of people and had just overall a great week. It was intense getting all the attention I was. My cousin Jordyn was at the NAIG for softball.”
Taylor turned to track from rugby and regrets not having started earlier. He’s coached in the Vernon Amateur Athletic Association by coaches Ian Cameron and Hedley Larson, and works with Team B.C. NAIG coach, former Kamloops Olympian Dylan Armstrong.
“He’s very coachable and opening some eyes,” said Cameron. “There are only two people in his age group that have thrown the javelin further than Jacob. And it’s not that much further.”
Taylor, who said he’s very serious about his training (25 hours a week until the injury), will take the rest of the summer off from competitions.