It's been a very exciting (and record-breaking) year for Handsworth Secondary graduate Charlie Dannatt.
The student athlete recently placed second at The Canadian National Track and Field Championships in the U20 Men's 1500-metre race this July. This follows his record-breaking, first-place performance at the B.C. Track and Field Championships in June during the 3000-metre race, and first-place win at the Oregon Relays 1500-metre race.
We sat down with Charlie to discuss his recent experience at the Canadian Junior Nationals, greatest achievements from the year, his passion for track and field, and plans for the future.
Charlie winning the Oregon Relays 1500-metre race.
About the Canadian National Track and Field Championships
The Canadian National Track and Field Championships is the pinnacle track meet in which Canada's best track and field athletes come to compete against one another. There are two different categories: Junior (Under 20) and Senior (20+). Athletes compete for gold, silver, and bronze medal honours, and also attempt to achieve international standards for meets such as worlds and the Olympics.
Finding Passion in Track and Field
Charlie found his passion for track when he was only 15 years old, during the Grade 10 track and field season. While most athletes start their track and field journey much earlier on, Charlie has used his dedication and love for the sport to propel his road to success.
"We are so delighted that Charlie has found a passion in life which is teaching him so many valuable lessons," says Charlie's mother, Nancy Bracey. "The track community is truly that.... a diverse community of dedicated athletes of all ages, genders and abilities who share a wonderful passion and support each other on and off the track."
When talking about the experience of attending the Canadian Junior Nationals, Charlie says that the biggest lessons he learned are that patience, dedication and having trust in your coaches during the process will yield success.
His advice to upcoming athletes: "Understand that running, as a sport, is all about dedication. It is a day in, day out commitment and every small thing is just a piece to the big puzzle. Perspective is key," says Charlie.
Inspirations and Highlights
For Charlie, there is no one person that he can name as his inspiration. "I draw my inspiration from the community I'm surrounded by: my teammates, my coaches (Cindy O'Krane and Darcie Montgomery), my parents and a whole range of elite athletes."
When asked about his greatest achievement to date, Charlie immediately looks back on the unbelievable final year of high school track and field that he experienced.
"From breaking the 3000-metre B.C. high school record by five seconds, to running 3:46.20 in the 1500-metre at the Portland Stumptown Twilight Meet, to coming second at Canadian Junior Nationals; I couldn't have asked for more."
Handsworth's Charlie Dannatt sets new 3000 metre record. Photo by Mark Bates.Plans for the Future
Next year, Charlie will be attending UBC as a student-athlete, studying within the Faculty of Sciences. In terms of goals, his major focus will be to make team Canada for the World Junior Track and Field Championships in Finland in the 1500-metre race.
Given Charlie's incredibly monumental and successful track and field experience this year, it's clear that this is only the beginning of many groundbreaking moments for this Handsworth Secondary graduate and soon-to-be UBC student.
Congratulations, Charlie, on your successes this year. Wishing you the best of luck as you embark on your next chapter!