Coming off his breakthrough year in track and field, Rostam Turner hasn’t missed a beat so far in 2017.
Earlier this month in Edmonton, the 21-year-old from Kelowna captured the gold medal in the men’s heptathlon at the U Sports national championships.
In his third season competing for the University of Toronto Blues, Turner compiled a winning score of 5,368 to finish 101 points clear of his next competitor, Carleton’s Telvin Tavernier.
Turner bettered his performance from a year ago at the Canadian university finals when he finished second only to his older brother and U of T teammate, James Turner.
The younger Turner put together a solid seven-event performance at the 2017 championships at the U of Alberta, winning the shot put and 1000 metres, and placing second in the 60 metres, pole vault and long jump.
“I was steady throughout, nothing spectacular, but just a really good, consistent performance,” said Turner. “Winning this was something I definitely had my eye on and had been working towards. It feels good to get it, to follow James and keep it in the family.”
In addition to his solo effort in winning gold at nationals, Turner also helped his Toronto Blues teammates to a bronze medal in the men’s 4 x 400 metre relay.
“I train and compete so much on my own, it was nice to be part of a team and share it with those guys,” Turner said.
In 2016, Rostam raised his performance on the track to a whole new level. The highlight came in July at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) track and field championships in El Salvador where he won gold in the decathlon. Turner set both a personal best and meet record in the process.
Turner later won the Canadian men’s decathlon title in Ottawa.
Turner, who is coached locally by Okanagan Athletics Club coach Pat Sima-Ledding, will next head to California in mid-April to train for two weeks and compete in his first decathlon of the season, the Brian Clay Invitational.
This summer, his focus will be qualifying for either the Francophone Games in July in Ivory Coast or the FISU Games in Taipei, Taiwan in August.
“I think the win at nationals has set me up well to transition into the decathlon season,” said Turner. “Mentally and physically I’m feeling good right now.”
Turner, who is finishing his fourth year of school and third year of athletic eligibility, is studying kinesiology at the University of Toronto.