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Jackson Christie owns track and field podium
Inuvik athletes shine at 2017 championships

Stewart Burnett
Northern News Services
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Graduating student and East Three Secondary School valedictorian Jackson Christie came first overall in his age category at the 2017 NWT Track & Field Championships in Hay River earlier this month.

NNSL photograph

Jackson Christie won best overall in his age division at the NWT Track & Field Championships in Hay River. Beside him are Daniel Melanson from Hay River in 2nd place and Daniel DeRosa, also from Hay River, in 3rd place. - photo courtesy of East Three Secondary School

"It went well for me, I won," said Christie, who placed first in three running events and medalled in the triple jump.

"For others, it was a learning experience for many of them. I think it was good that I went down. It shows them what we can do," said Christie. "Just because we're Inuvik doesn't mean we can't match up to all of these bigger schools."

Eleven students from Inuvik attended, along with gym instructor Colin Pybus competing in some of the adult events.

Coach Kenzie MacDonald said Christie is a natural athlete.

"He's been an athlete at our school since Grade 8," said MacDonald. "He's played volleyball, he's a speedskater, he plays basketball. This was a nice way to finish his graduation year, with a gold medal."

His skill comes from a combination of work ethic and genetics.

"He looks like an athlete," said MacDonald. "(It's) hard work and athletic ability."

Christie said he got it from his parents.

"My mom's a crazy athletic person as well," he said. "My dad just has that mentality of always keep going with something and never quit with it, and I feel like those two mentalities clash together perfectly when it comes to sports."

The toughest event for him was the 5k. Christie felt like he didn't train for it as much as he should have.

"I still won it, but it was at a point where I wanted to quit during the run, but I knew if I did, I wouldn't have got anywhere," he said.

MacDonald said the team as a whole did about what he expected.

"We had a few surprises, which is always nice," he said. "Corbin Dempster kind of blew our minds with his ability to sprint, didn't think he was that quick. We had a few other kids who were some surprises in certain events."

MacDonald was also scouting the NWT's track and field team for the North American Indigenous Games. Christie and Braeden Picek will be representing Inuvik on that team.

Now that his time at East Three is done, Christie advises younger students to try things and stick with them.

"There's always going to be people who are like, 'Oh you're not good at this' or 'I'm better than you so you shouldn't be playing,'" he said. "I was that kid when I was younger. I was that kid that wasn't the best. Then I just stuck with it and over the years I've gotten so much better and I've had all these opportunities due to it. It's just been a great experience for me."

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