Kelowna brothers and U of T teammates James (left) and Rostam Turner took the gold and silver medal in men's heptathlon at the CIS track and field championships last weekend in Toronto.

Turners go 1-2 at CIS nationals

Kelowna's James and Rostam Turner win gold and silver in heptathlon for the Toronto Blues at university championships

Since being reunited in the fall 2013, brothers James and Rostam Turner dreamed of the day they’d be on the podium together at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national track and field championships.

The Kelowna siblings and teammates with the University of Toronto Blues realized that  ambition last weekend at York University, finishing 1-2 in the men’s heptathlon.

In his last CIS meet, James, 22, led the seven-event competition from start to finish, winning the gold medal with 5,374 points.

Rostam, 20, who scored five PBs during nationals, claimed the silver medal with 5,134 points.

“When I originally moved to Toronto (in 2013), it was definitely a goal of ours,” Rostam said of going 1-2 at nationals. “We would talk about it in training, how cool it would be, as brothers, to do this by the end of James’ university career. It’s just a great feeling.”

It was a triumphant farewell to university athletics for the elder Turner who capped off his fourth and final season with the Blues, while Rostam has just finished up his third year with the U of T program.

James, a former Canadian senior and two-time junior decathlon champ, was in control throughout nationals, winning five events—the 60 metres, 60 hurdles, long jump, shot put and high jump.

Rostam placed second in four events, including recording a PB in the pole vault on Friday to secure the national silver.

The thrill of sharing the podium with his brother wasn’t lost on James, either.

“Going 1-2 with my brother in my last year of CIS is awesome,” James Turner said. “It’s a pretty special thing, I’m humbled by it and my time competing for U of T.

“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs so it’s nice to end things off on such a high.”

The two KSS grads and former Owls’ male athletes of the year, the Turners have spent much of the last three years training together, often six days a week.

The younger Turner believes both brothers have reaped the benefits.

“We get along well and we really push each other to better,” said Rostam. “All that time training together, I think it’s been good for both us.”

With James’ university career at an end, he’ll now focus his efforts on qualifying in decathlon for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio. Next up is the Mt. SAC relays April 8 in California.

Turner’s PB is currently 7,773 points, 323 points shy of the Olympic standard of 8,100.

“I think he’s got a good shot at it,” Rostam said of his older brother’s chances of getting to Rio. “All of his individual personal bests would be enough, so I think he’s definitely capable of getting there.”

While James aims for Rio, Rostam will work towards this summer’s national combined events championships in Ottawa, as well as trying to earn a berth on Canada’s U23 team for the North American-Central American championships (NACAC).


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