Jared Howse has had a busy summer, completing in three major track and field competitions which lead to a national level competition.
Howse, 15, attended the Alberta Provincial Championships in Sherwood Park in July where he won double gold – in the the 1,500 metre steeplechase and the 2,000 metre. His time of 4:33.46 in the steeplechase was a record breaker.
He went on to the Tri-Province Western Canadian Championships in Winnipeg from July 14-16. There he won three medals, a silver and two bronze.
He won a silver in the 1,500 metre steeplechase with a time of 4:34.97. His time of 5:59.55 in the 2,000 metre put him in third place. Howse was also a member of the 1,600 sprint medley that came in third at the competition.
His times was good enough to take him onward to the Legion Nationals in Brandon Aug. 11-13.
This was the first time Howse had ever competed at a national level.
“I’ve been running for a couple years now, so I don’t really get nervous before a race anymore. But [at Nationals] I was definitely nervous,” Howse said in a recent interview.
At the Legion’s National, Howse picked up a bronze medal for the steeplechase and a silver in the sprint medley.
He says he is most proud of his bronze medal.
“I worked hard, and did it by myself against really strong competition,” he explained.
Before taking to the track, Howse was a soccer player eventually making his way to cross country and track.
“Jared has always been a great runner,” explained Shawn Howse, Jared’s father. “He has always seemed to really enjoy running.”
Howse says he prefers running long distances over the short sprints.
His preference in running can be seen in the events he runs, with the steeplechase being his favourite.
“When you do the long distance runs one mistake isn’t going to cost you the entire race. You have time to right the wrong,” he said.
Running is an individual sport, and while you may be on a team, as Howse ran with Team Alberta for the competitions this summer, most of the time your aren’t playing as a team.
Howse explained the individuality of the sport is a large draw for him.
He enjoys being able to run without thinking about how he is effecting others.
“It’s a sport where you have to rely on yourself and your training. The only person you are really going to disappoint is yourself,” he said.
Howse, who is also a member of the Red Deer Titans Track and Field Club, is looking forward to his next year of competition as he will be able to run the longer races.
At 15-years-old, house was in his final year of midget competition, next year he will enter the youth division, or under 18, where he will have the chance to run the 2,000 and 3,000 steeplechase races.
He is also hoping to make it to back to the Legion’s Nationals next year.
“I’m not going to lie, I’m extremely proud of him,” said Shawn. “I know how much work and training he puts into it. He is extremely dedicated.”
His work ethic came into play earlier this year, when Howse was out of commission due to an injury.
For two months, Howse was unable to train or run to prepare for the competitions this summer.
“To go from two months without training, in a sport where you have to constantly be training, and placing in his races is absolutely amazing,” Shawn said.
The father and son, who also work together as coach and athlete, said they owe a lot to Travis Jones at Sylvan Lake Physio for the work he did in helping Howse recuperate.
During his rehabilitation, Howse would go to physio two or three times a week.
Looking to the future, Howse hopes to one day compete at the Simplot Games and one day get a track scholarship to university.
“I don’t have my eye on any university, anyone will do,” Howse said with a laugh.
He also said getting to the Olympics would be nice, but that is still a few years a way for him to really think about.