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HIGH ACHIEVERS: Athletics official Barclay Frost celebrates return to competition, award, 80th birthday

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic

By Martin Cleary

WEEKEND WRAP: So, how was your two-day break? If you ask Barclay Frost, he’ll tell you he had a weekend of happiness. Hard to imagine that scenario playing out during these COVID-19 pandemic days. But it’s true.

On Friday and Saturday, he visited his second home for the first time in almost two years, serving as the field referee for throws and jumps during the Ottawa High Performance track and field meet at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility.

Life doesn’t get much better for Frost, who has been one of Canada’s top-level officials for more than 50 years. But it did get better Saturday, when the no-spectator, no-media meet stopped to honour the Munster Hamlet, ON., resident.

The National Officials’ Committee of Athletics Canada gave Frost a plaque to recognize his dedication to athletics and inducted him onto its Wall of Honour. Ottawa’s Willie McKay was the first official on the wall in 1984.

And to top off his weekend, Frost turned 80 years old on Sunday with a family celebration. Granddaughter Megan Becking presented Frost with a 74-page memory book of photos and comments from friends and family.

“It was wonderful to be back at the track, after such a COVID-enforced shutdown,” said Frost, who endured the heat and humidity of a 23-event meet, which was the opener of the Athletics Canada Tokyo Qualifier Series. “It is always an enjoyable experience to work at a meet.”

Frost has enjoyed working at hundreds of competitions in his six decades of officiating, whether it was the 1976 Montreal Olympics or the spring high school meets in Ottawa.

A level-5 judge and referee (the highest international ranking) in horizontal and vertical jumps who has officiated at many high-profile championships, Frost also is an avid golfer, curler and a hockey goalie.

Frost has been honoured in the past, being inducted into the Ottawa Sport and Goulbourn Sports halls of fame and receiving a Fellow’s Award by the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association for his service and dedication.

“It was a total surprise to me that I had been selected to the Wall of Honour,” he added. “I heard at the track meet that the plaque had been brought to Ottawa and that it would be presented to me at some point.

“I did not know when or who would be presenting it to me. It was great to receive it at the finish line in front of the Ottawa officials that have worked with me for so many years. I am truly honoured to receive such an honour.”

Meet director Richard Johnston, the head coach of the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club, right, presents a plaque to Barclay Frost for his induction onto the Athletic Canada’s National Officials’ Committee’s Wall of Honour. Photo: Ryan Rowat

Meet director Richard Johnston, the head coach of the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club which staged the weekend Olympic qualifier, presented Frost with his award. Johnston can expect to see Frost for many more meets in the future.

“As I said when I received the plaque on Saturday, I am not done officiating yet and have no plans to retire,” Frost continued. “I will be honest, after having suffered the stroke in January, I was questioning my stamina and ability to last over a two-day meet. But once I got going, I was fine. Totally enjoyed myself.”

As for the Olympic qualifying meet, the athletes didn’t meet or beat any of Athletics Canada’s Summer Games standards, but that wasn’t too surprising given the 15-month absence of competition because of the pandemic.

Trinity Tutti of Welland, ON., won the women’s discus with a personal-best toss of 57.93 metres. The Olympic standard is 63.50 metres. In March, she set a PB in the indoor shot put with a toss of 16.74 metres.

The Olympic criteria time in the women’s 100 metres is 11.15 seconds and unattached Ontario runner Shanice Williams and Nyoka Maxwell of Extreme Velocity won the respective heat and final races in matching times of 11.59.

Veteran Gavin Smellie of Flying Angels took the men’s 100-metre heat and final in respective 10.48 and 10.55 seconds (Olympic standard, 10.05), while Aliezer Adjibi of Ottawa’s C.A.N.I. was a double runner-up in 10.57 and 10.65.

Ottawa-trained Farah Jacques of Perfmax-Racing won the women’s 100-metre hurdles in 13.52 seconds (heat) and 13.66 (final). Her two-year-old personal best is 13.11, while the Olympic standard is 12.84.

Elsewhere, Ottawa cyclists Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Matteo Dal-Cin (Rally Cycling) are riding in this week’s Tour de Suisse. Woods was seventh in Monday’s second stage and is 26th overall (61 seconds back). Dal-Cin is 132nd overall.

Gloucester’s Jonathan David scored in the 90th minute as Canada blanked Aruba 7-0 in a World Cup qualifying game in Bradenton, Florida. He played limited, late minutes, but could play more against Suriname on Tuesday.

Former Ottawa Rowing Club member Andrew Todd has qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics. Todd, Laura Court, Bayleigh Hooper, Kyle Fredrickson and coxswain Victoria Nolan won a PR3 Mix4+ Paralympic qualifying race in Gavirate, Italy.

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