Their paths have certainly crossed many times as they have made their way through high school track and field meets and climbed to the top of their sports right across Canada.
And now two Kelowna track stars are sharing a high level provincial award.
Aaron Stroda and Rostam Turner were named co-winners of the B.C. Athletics Youth (Under-18) Athlete of the Year Award last month at the organization’s annual awards banquet.
Both athletes had outstanding seasons and capped them off with great results at the 2012 Canadian Youth Legion Track and Field Championships’ held in Charlottetown, PEI.
Competing in the Octathlon (eight events combined) Turner claimed first place after obliterating his personal best score. He also ran to a first place finish in the 1,000 metre event at the same meet.
A javelin and discuss thrower, Stroda, who still has one year remaining at the U-18 level, was second in both events at the national championship and is the top ranked youth athlete in Canada in his events.
“I knew that I was nominated for this year’s B.C. Athlete of the year award and I found out on Facebook this week,” said Stroda, a Grade 11 student at OKM. “I am very happy and honoured to be the recipient in my first year as a youth athlete.”
“I just think it’s amazing,” echoed Turner. “It was a great feeling to hear that I had won the award. It’s definitely cool (to share the award with Stroda) since we are both from Kelowna, a pretty small city.”
Turner is a member of the Okanagan Athletics Club and is the second in his family to win the award after older brother James claimed it two years ago. While James is now a student-athlete in the NCAA with the University of Texas at Arlington, it is now Rostam’s turn to set his sights on a post secondary institution.
Turner, in Grade 12 at KSS, has talked to several schools but says he is leaning on staying in Canada to continue his athletics although nothing is set in stone. A high level award certainly will be nice to add to the resume.
As for Stroda, he still has a year of high school remaining as well as a year as a youth athlete to continue the dominance he has shown, throwing javelin and shot-put.
“I am currently in full swing for my winter program consisting of six training days per week,” said Stroda. “I am very grateful for my school and my teachers supporting me this year. Next year will be my second and final U-18 year and I’m looking forward to it.”
Among his off-sason work out plans, Stroda has enrolled with the Kelowna Badminton Club to increase his foot speed, something critical to throwers’ success.
With the track and field season now in the off-season, both Turner and Stroda continue to work out and prepare for the spring season, where they will again be amongst the top athletes in their respective sports.
The indoor track and field season starts in February.