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Sonics thrower to head field event

By May 12, 2022No Comments
Jake McEachern, a Grade 11 athlete at Lloydminster Comprehensive High School, will compete in several throwing events at this Saturday’s school district track and field meet. Geoff Lee Meridian Source

 

Lloydminster Comprehensive High School (LCHS) is hosting an invitational track and field event this Saturday with Grade 11 athletics phenom Jake McEachern being one of the stars to watch.

McEachern just turned 17 and is unofficially ranked No. 1 in Alberta and Canada in U18 discus, hammer throw and shot put following his stellar results at the Columbians Spring Fling for throwers in Edmonton on April 30.

He is also ranked 15th in the world in the hammer throw, competing with a group of 25-30 Split City Sonics members who train at the LCHS track.

“It’ll be great to see a young man from our school to hopefully have an opportunity to do really well and be able to advance to the provincial meet in Regina June 4-5,” said LCHS track coach Chris Sharp. 

“We have eight schools coming from around the region and we are hoping for a good turnout and a nice day to finally be able to do some competition.”

McEachern will compete in shot put, discus and the high jump at the weekend meet.

At the spring fling at Rollie Field, he set a personal best in the javelin with a toss of 29.83m. 

He also set new provincial and national U18 standards in the discus (49.06m) hammer throw (67.65m) and the shot put (16.22m).

The teen attributes his success to frequent training with the Sonics coaches Karl Meissner and Jaimee Springer.

“I throw three days a week in practice and practise on my own when I am feeling up to it,” he said.

“I haven’t been throwing for long. This is my fourth year.”

Meissner calls McEachern a really good all-around athlete.

“Between Jamee working on his strength and us working together on his technique, he’s really come around the last year or so,” he said.

“He was basically untouchable in the U18 group in the indoor season at the national championships in Saint John, New Brunswick.”

He won the weight throw and the shot put at the nationals on March 26-27.

Meissner says McEachern is one of the most coachable athletes on the team and is easy to work with and listens well.

“I’m looking forward to the summer because we have local meets until the end of July. Then he should make Team Alberta. At the meet in Edmonton, he made all the standards for Team Alberta,” he said. 

Meissner says he just has to get to the Foote Field Open in Edmonton in the middle of June to qualify for teams and competition.

“We’re just trying to keep him healthy and going until then,” he said. 

McEachern will be one of roughly 25 LCHS athletes at this weekend’s invitational meet.

“The kids are excited and they want an opportunity to participate and compete again,” said Sharp.

“We have five different coaches helping us, so we’ve got a very small ratio of kids to coaches, so they get a lot of one-on-one attention.”

Some of the Sonics will be competing at the Calgary Spring Challenge this weekend and just about every week after that with school meets and club meets.

McEachern says his coach is allowing him to do the high jump this weekend and he did a decathlon last year.

 “I did awful, but it was a great experience. I will probably stick to throwing in the future,” he said.

His throwing prowess has already caught the attention of some universities for scholarships, but they can’t really talk to him until he’s in Grade 12.

“That’s definitely on the list to do in the near future,” said McEachern. “I’ve talked to a couple of them in the States and I’ve talked to UBC.”

His dad, Kevin, is also his biggest fan and promoter on social media. “He posts a lot,” he said with a laugh.

McEachern notes he’s following the footsteps of his oldest sister who won the provincials in javelin when she was in Grade 10.

“I made my other sister do track last year and she was throwing hammer like me,” he said.