Foster reaching new heights

Langley teen comes second in Canada, fourth internationally in decathlon at Ottawa event

Langley’s Ethan Foster had a strong showing over the weekend at the Panamerican Combined Events Cup in Ottawa

Just a few years ago, Ethan Foster could not do a sit-up or a push-up.

That is a stark contrast to where the Langley teen finds himself these days.

It has been an eventful few weeks for the 15-year-old.

He won the gold medal in the junior boys pole vault competition at the B.C. high school track and field championships, clearing 3.70m to handily win the competition. His nearest competitor was 0.60m below that height. It also would have tied him for the bronze medal in the senior boys division.

The week before at the B.C. combined events championships, Foster scored 4,909 points in the senior boys decathlon, which would have given him the silver medal but he was competing under exhibition status.

Vancouver College’s Jasper Schiedel won gold and was tops in seven of the 10 events.  Two of the disciplines he didn’t win — the pole vault and 1500m — saw Foster take first place.

And this past weekend in Ottawa, Foster finished fourth at the Panamerican Combined Events Cup in the decathlon with a Guatemalan athlete finishing first and a Peruvian athlete second.

Foster’s 5,352 points put him second among Canadian athletes, as he was less than 100 points behind New Brunswick’s Adam Farmer.

Teen struggled just a few years ago

So how does a teenager go from not being able to do a sit-up or push-up to becoming a rising decathlete, a sport he just took up a year ago?

“Something clicked (when he was 11) and he never played a video game after that, ever,” explained his dad, Scott, who also coaches his son with the B.C. Flyers Athletic Club.

Scott Foster himself attended Simon Fraser on a track and field scholarship, and still competing, now at the masters level, in the triple jump and long jump.

But it took some coaxing to get his son to train for the decathlon, which sees an athlete compete in 10 different events.

“He had all the attributes you needed (to be successful). He resisted, but I wasn’t pushy, more leading him in that direction,” Scott Foster said.

Ethan started in the pentathlon, which is five events, before working his way towards the decathlon.

What helps Ethan is the fact that while he may not be great in any one event — save for the pole vault — he is good in all the others.

Pole vault Foster’s best event

In Ottawa, he set a new personal best in the pole vault, clearing 3.90m, a new personal best. That tied him for first among the six athletes competing over the weekend.

At 15 years old, he was also competing in the youth division, which is for athletes 16 and 17 years old.

Foster was first in the 1500m (4:32.48), second in the long jump (5.98m) and third in the 400m (54.36). He was fourth in the discus (29.85m) and high jump (1.69m), and fifth in both the 100m (12.31) and 110m hurdles (17.96) and sixth in each of the shot put (1.69m) and javelin (26.76m).

Need short memory to succeed

Competing in so many events has taught Foster that he can’t dwell on anything for too long.

“If I do bad in one event, I can’t give up. You don’t know what can happen in decathlon. Anything can happen,” he said, adding that his weekend in Ottawa was also a learning experience.

“It gave me an idea of where I am at and what I need to work on.”

Scott Foster says his son is never content.

“He is constantly looking for advice and improvement so he can be better and better,” he said.

And the summer is shaping up to be a busy one for Foster, who enters Grade 11 at D.W. Poppy in September.

He has the B.C. Athletics championships next month (July 15 to 17) in Nanaimo and then the Canadian Legion youth track and field championships the following month. They will be held Aug. 7 to 9 in Sainte-Therese, Que.

Foster has qualified in both the pole vault and decathlon, but will have to make a choice as to which one he will focus on for the competition.

•••

Langley’s Georgia Ellenwood was also competing over the weekend in Ottawa at the Canadian combined events championships.

The 20-year-old finished second in Canada in the senior women’s division for the heptathlon, scoring 5,814 points. That score was just behind Jessica Zelinski’s 5,855 points.

Ellenwood — who attended Langley Secondary and is one of the most decorated high school track and field athletes of all-time in B.C. — is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin and holds the school record in the heptathlon with 5,935 points.

She is also a member of the Langley Mustangs Track and Field Club and has represented Canada in the past.

 

Just Posted

Trial begins for man charged with 2010 murder of Mandy Johnson

Langley single mom was fatally shot while in vehicle in Abbotsford

Langley Township’s first 20-storey tower passes first hurdle

The Oasis building for seniors will feature licensed care rooms, senior’s housing and apartments

UPDATE: Tree takes out power in Langley, Mission and Abbotsford

BC Hydro reports service has been restored

PHOTOS: Langley RCMP release gallery of suspects

If you recognize any of them, call police

Township unveils new plans for museums, cultural centre, Aboriginal arts lodge

Public open house for Fort Langley projects to be held Thursday, Feb. 8

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Sunwing vacation passengers left at Abbotsford airport

YXX staffers receive praise for help to passengers; airline criticized

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

5 to start your day

‘Young, innocent’ teen dies in Vancouver shootout, 152 Street overpass repairs start and more

Congestion points or distance: How Metro Vancouver could pay for its roads

Mobility pricing commission identifies two options in report

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

Most Read