Tyler Dozzi took silver in the Pan American championship, 13 seconds behind United States runner Connor Jeffrey Lane. In third was fellow Canadian runner Thomas Nobbs. (Photo contributed)

Tyler Dozzi took silver in the Pan American championship, 13 seconds behind United States runner Connor Jeffrey Lane. In third was fellow Canadian runner Thomas Nobbs. (Photo contributed)

B.C. runner takes silver at Pan American cross-country championships

Tyler Dozzi’s medal pushes U20 Team Canada to gold finish

Standing on the international podium, holding up a Canadian flag, was an inexperience unlike any other for northern B.C. runner Tyler Dozzi.

After exploding a 42-year-old track and field record last year, lacing national silver in track and field, and scooping up national gold in cross country the year before, the renowned young Terrace runner has now seized silver in the Pan American Cross Country Championships.

READ MORE: Dozzi blows up provincial record, feels bittersweet

Dozzi and five other Team Canada runners competed in the race last Saturday against 39 of the top under-20 men’s runners from North and South America.

Dozzi won silver, and together with the other runners on Team Canada claimed gold in the international championship, with the most runners in high ranks overall.

Originally from Terrace B.C., Dozzi moved in Grade 11 to Vancouver and ran for Oak Bay High School and for the Prairie Inn Harriers running team based in Victoria. Now he’s in his first year at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Despite his extensive running background, Dozzi says the Pan Am race was one of the most mentally and physically taxing races he has ever run.

Held in El Salvador, it was 35 C, and was an 8K cross-country race, with runners making four laps around a two-kilometre course.

Dozzi says going in, he wasn’t as fit as he wanted to be, due to an injury to his Achilles late last December, which limited his training for most of January. He did get a chance to train a few times on a treadmill in a special heat chamber at a Lululemon gym in Vancouver, which he believes helped him a lot.

As the runners took off on the 8K course, officials along the sidelines offered sponges and even bags of cold water for runners to pour on themselves to help cool down.

Dozzi said Team Canada worked well together, running in a pack and passing sponges off to help each other stay cool.

He worried that he took off too fast at the beginning and his arms began to burn about halfway through.

“My arms started to burn up, and I didn’t know if that was from the running or from the sun, but I was a bit concerned. But I decided rather than to focus on the pain, just to focus on how long I had been training for this, and on how badly I wanted to perform well for Canada.”

At about 3K, a number of runners started to slow and a pack of four took the lead, consisting of Dozzi, Canada’s Thomas Knobs, America’s Connor Lane and Colombia’s Jhonathan Polished Friar.

Dozzi says he and fellow Canadian runner Knobs ran together in third and fourth place, switching back and forth in front to help each other out.

In the final 250 kilometres, the two Canadian runners let loose, fighting to take the lead. They passed the Colombian, but didn’t quite catch the American.

“We weren’t able to catch him. It was a little bit too late,” said Dozzi.

The American, Connor Lane, won gold at 25:06, Dozzi took silver just 13 seconds behind, at 25:19, and Canadian Thomas Nobbs got bronze at 25:23. Other Canadians Andrew Alexander and Max Turek took fourth and seventh, respectively. (See full results from El Salvador Athletics below)

“I finished the race strong,” said Dozzi, “and very, very overheated.

“It was definitely one of the most painful races I have ever run,” Dozzi said, referring to the battle of overcoming the intense heat.

“There were a few runners struggling at the finish line, some collapsing,” he explained.

And yet, even with the incredible pain and difficulty, Dozzi said the resulting experience was unforgettable.

“It was a pretty spectacular feeling stepping onto the podium, holding the national flag, especially when I stepped up with the team,” said Dozzi.

“It was unique from any other race, any other medal ceremony I’ve ever had because it wasn’t just me winning there. It wasn’t just me having a personal success… it was actually being on a national team, representing my country , and doing well in the race.

“To step on the podium and receive a medal for Canada, not just for myself, was a completely unique experience,” he said.

Dozzi says he is aiming for Olympics, probably 2024, but he has a few more key steps to take before then. His next goal is to represent UBC at the national university championships, and then, this summer, to make the national team for the under-20 track and field world championships.

That championship is the equivalent to the Olympics, but for under-20 athletes, and will be in Finland this summer, July 10-15.


 


jackie@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Tyler Dozzi, middle, and fellow Team Canada runners take the podium after collectively winning first in the Pan American championship last Saturday. The team won because it had the most high ranking runners than any other team, with athletes in second, third, fourth and seventh. In photo on the podium for Canada is Marcus Kemp (23rd), Thomas Nobbs (3rd), and Max Turek (7th) in back. In front is Brandon Bail (19th), Tyler Dozzi (2nd), and Andrew Alexander (4th). (Photo contributed)

Tyler Dozzi, middle, and fellow Team Canada runners take the podium after collectively winning first in the Pan American championship last Saturday. The team won because it had the most high ranking runners than any other team, with athletes in second, third, fourth and seventh. In photo on the podium for Canada is Marcus Kemp (23rd), Thomas Nobbs (3rd), and Max Turek (7th) in back. In front is Brandon Bail (19th), Tyler Dozzi (2nd), and Andrew Alexander (4th). (Photo contributed)

Screen shot of the results from the El Salvador Athletics website.

Screen shot of the results from the El Salvador Athletics website.

Just Posted

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

Kelowna Cabs’ dispatchers will be coming back to work now that their union and the taxi company have come to an agreement. (Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs dispatchers set to go back to work

The taxi company and the dispatchers’ union have reached an agreement

t
Motorcyclist critically injured in Westside Road collision

Motorcyclist collides with vehicle, struck by another: preliminary police findings

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Kelowna mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead

Pair discovered in their Vancouver Island home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Most Read