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Titus fourth in Canada Games

Whistler’s Morgan Titus came within 10 seconds of a Canada Games podium


Whistler’s Morgan Titus came within 10 seconds of a Canada Games podium last week with a fourth place finish in the men’s 3,000 Metre Steeplechase.

Titus, a standout runner on the UBC Thunderbirds athletics team for the past four years, typically competes in cross-country and longer events like 5,000 and 10,000-meter races.

He heard about the tryout for the steeplechase in July, and even though he’s never raced that kind of event he decided to go for it.

"I’d been racing the same kinds of events for a while and wanted to try something new, so when it came up I decided to give (steeplechase) a shot," he said. "I don’t think the competition was that good, or everybody was new to it like me, because I qualified."

The steeplechase involves seven and a half laps of course with four boxes on each lap and a water jump. It’s a lot different than cross-country or track running, but Titus had been training for the Grouse Grind and felt pretty good on the course.

"I like it," he said. "Usually on a 5km run you do 12 laps of a track and all you can think about is pain, there’s nothing else to focus on. In steeplechase you’re always focusing on the next obstacle, and what you have to do to get over it."

Titus, now fourth in Canada, said he might be interested in continuing to pursue steeplechase in the future – compared to the fields for the 5,000 metre and 10,000 metre events it’s a lot easier to make the Olympics and World Championships.

One thing he would have to learn to get to the next level is how to hurdle the obstacles. Titus used his feet to get over the boxes, while the top runners all jumped over them and hit the ground running. He caught up in the space between obstacles, still lost ground on the top athletes.

Titus recently graduated from UBC, and has returned to Whistler to work and train and base his travels. In the next few years he’s hoping to qualify for the national cross-country running team to have the opportunity to travel more extensively and meet other runners.

Kevin Smillie of Squamish, another one of six Sea to Sky athletes taking part in the Canada Games, earned a silver medal with the B.C. Team in softball. Smillie added a single and scored a run in the finals, where B.C. lost to Ontario 7-6.

The B.C. Team finished third in the overall B.C. Games medal tally this year with 119 medals, 42 gold, 44 silver and 33 bronze.

Team Ontario won the overall title with 158 medals, followed by Quebec with 135.

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