2009 was a break-through year for the London Runner Distance Club, including considerable growth in all age groups with increased numbers throughout the elementary, high school, collegiate, and post-collegiate age groups. In their fourth year as an Athletics Canada registered group, many members that joined in the 'early years' were now seeing the fruits of their labours and a progressive, longer-term focus truly paying off with the number of athletes qualifying for Canadian Track and Field Championships exploding. In 2008, London Runner sent a total of 3 athletes to Canadian Track Championships - 2 Seniors and 1 Junior (19 & Under) athlete. In 2009, London Runner sent 12 athletes to Canadian Track and Field Championships, exceeding their pre-season goal of 10:
London Runner Distance Club 2009 Canadian Championships Competitors:
Ben Procter - 400m, 800m (Junior)
Brandon Laan - 800m
Eric Barry - 800m, 1,500m (Youth)
Katie Anderson - 800m, 1,500m (Junior and Senior)
Aaron Hendrikx - 1,500m (Youth)
Jeremy Walsh - 1,500m (Junior)
Max Holden - 1,500m (Youth)
Kyle O'Neill - 3,000m Steeple, 5000m
Chantelle Wilder - 5,000m
Bethany McChesney - 5,000m
Adrian Walton - 10,000m
Chris Nagle - 10,000m
O'Neil led a fair sized group at the Canadian Championships/World Trials, placing 4th and 5th in the 3000m Steeplechase and 5000m, respectively. Adrian Walton also recorded a top-10 performance with his 7th place in the 10,000m, while Chantelle Wilder just missed with a strong 11th place finish in the 5,000m.
Three athletes represented LRDC at each of the younger age group championships. While many of these athletes were gaining experience in their first go at the National level, Ben Procter and Katie Anderson led the way. Both Procter and Anderson made the 800m 'A' Finals at the Canadian Juniors, with Procter placing a very impressive 8th place, despite his 24th place ranking entering the competition.
There were a number of strong provincial-level results this year, led by Adrian Walton's outstanding 5,000m victory - the 2nd year in a row he won the Ontario Championship in this event. Other individual track medalists include Bethany McChesney (2nd, 10,000m), Kyle O'Neil (2nd, 3000m Steeplechase), and Katie Anderson (3rd, Junior 5,000m). LRDC also accumulated quite a number of Ontario Relay medals at both the Junior and Senior level with multiple contributions from Seniors such as Chris Nagle (Ontario medalist at 4x800m, 4x1500m, and Distance Medley Relay), Junior Men Ben Procter, Jeremy Walsh, and Eric Barry (Ontario medalists at both 4x1500m and Distance Medley Relay), and Junior Women Laura Walker, Leslie Walker, Katie Anderson, and Emily Yungblut (all on 3 Ontario medalist relay reams).
Earlier in the year, strong performances at the Ontario high school championships were turned in by the group including top-10 finishes by Katie Komarnicky (8th in Junior 3,000m) and Aaron Hendrikx (10th in Junior 3,000m).
Backed by outstanding road race results at events such as the Downtown and Summer Night 5k races, the group is very excited for the coming fall season. Key races for the group this fall will include the Scotiabank Marathon (Half-Marathon and 5k), Canadian 10k road race Championships, Ontario Cross Country Championships, Canadian Cross Country Championships, and various school championship races.