When Daniel Kelloway crossed the finish line in the second heat of the boys' 400 metres Monday at the Canada Summer Games, his time 48.36 seconds wasn't only good enough to qualify him for Thursday's A final, it was also a new provincial record.
"I think I can push it even a little harder in the finals," says the talented, yet undeniably humble 19-year-old from Mount Pearl.
"I still had a little gas at left in the tank at the end, so hopefully I'll be able to get an even better time and break it again, one last time."
Establishing new provincial marks is nothing new for Kelloway, who trains out of the Pearlgate Track and Field Club. This summer, he has essentially rewritten the record books in his events.
At the provincial age group championships, and not long after he became the first Newfoundlander to run sub-50 seconds in the 400m at the senior nationals, he broke the 200m junior and senior records held by his coach, Doug Halliday, with a blistering time of 22.46.
Fast forward a month and Kelloway was at it again, this time breaking Mark Stenders' 27-year-old junior mark of 49.16 with a 48.93 in the 400m at the Atlantic championships in Moncton, N.B., where he also finished first. While there, he also broke his own 200m records by turning in a 22.12 and finishing second.
He also set a new junior and senior record in the 100m, both previously belonging to Halliday.
"I've always liked to go fast," he says. "My mom jokes that I was running before I was walking."
Halliday, who insists he was delighted to see his records erased from the books by his protégé - "nothing makes me happier in the world for them to fall to him," he says - saw potential in Kelloway almost immediately when he started coaching again in 2009.
"One of the first things I said to him was 'you are meant to run the 200 and the 400,'" recounts Halliday.
The two put together a four-year plan, one his coach says included having him run under 50 seconds in the 400 by the time the Games rolled around. At the time, he was clocking 55 seconds and above.
"For sprinting, seven seconds is probably 60 metres. It's a big feat."
Kelloway got his start in track and field at seven years old when his mother enrolled him in day camps at Pearlgate. A few years later, he started competing more seriously, his preferred events being the 100, 200 and, oddly enough, the long jump.
"My coach before Doug, Dylan Snow, convinced me to do the 400 at the Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games in 2008. Since then, I've been mainly focusing on the 400," explains Kelloway, who has since started working at the very same camps where he was introduced to the sport.
Halliday says there are a number of things that make Kelloway a special runner, one whose talent has flourished the last couple of years. He's not an anxious competitor, and he approaches the sport with a willingness to learn and put the work in.
"Track's not an easy sport, a lot of people figure it's just running, but there's a lot of work that goes into it with biomechanics, weight training and the nutrition, but we've slowly incorporated that, I didn't want to overload him when we started.
"It means a lot to me to have an athlete like Daniel who is willing to put the work in."
For this week's Games, Kelloway was ranked 10th in both the 200 and 400 events, but on a national level, he was 14th following his win at Atlantics. His time on Monday will likely put him in the top 10 in Canada.
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"It's not like it's teams where there are 10 teams and you're 10 of 10," Hallidays explains. "At the senior national,s there were probably 30 to 40 people who went there to run and that's just the people who make it out of their provincial finals. So there's hundreds of people that are trying to get there, so this is huge."
Kelloway will run his 200 Tuesday. He opted not to compete in the individual 100m this week, but he will run for the province's top team in the 4x100 relay.
Monday's track and field results
Daniel Kelloway wasn’t the only Team Newfoundland and Labrador track and field competitor to turn in a great result Monday at the Canada Summer Games.
At the University de Sherbrooke’s track and field stadium, the women’s 4x100-metre relay team of Kathryn Bautista, Nicole Chan, Erica Hayward and Jodeen Williams finished third in their heat with a time of 50.73 seconds and qualified for Thursday’s A final.
Their 4x100m male counterparts — Thomas Faour, Gerard Power, Scott Richards, Anderson Traverse — qualified for the B final with a 45.22 in their heat. The final is set for Thursday.
In the individual 100m events, Jesse Walsh ran an 11.09 and qualified for the B final on Thursday, while Anderson Traverse clocked an 11.52 and will not move on. On the women’s side, Bautista finished in 13.17 seconds and Chan cross the line in 13.53. Neither times were good enough to advance.
In the women’s 400m, Darcy Buckingham advanced to Thursday’s B final with a 1:00.83, while teammates Victoria Healey failed to qualify with her 1:05.44. For the men, Faour raced to a 52.63, but will not move on.
In 1,500m events, the men’s Liam Delaney (4:14.63) and Matt Noseworthy (4:15.43) and the women’s Julia Howley (4:48.90) and Melissa Hardy (4:41.09) failed to qualify for the finals.
Dominic Loro, the province’s only competitor in the 400m hurdles, had a time of 1:03.12 but will not move on.
In the 100m Special Olympics events, two runners advanced to the finals on Thursday. Christopher Dugas clocked a 12.99, good for the A final, and Floressa Harris had a 17.91, enough to get her in the B. Josh Mutrey (15.15) and Sarah Brown (23.30) also raced on Monday.
Off the track and on the field, Shaughnessy O’Driscoll qualified for the A final in the women’s javelin with a 40.89-metre toss. Sarah Woodland (24.26m) also competed.
Finally, Bautista (10.08m) and Nicole Chan (9.79) failed to advance in the triple jump, and Evan Whelan had a discus throw of 29.37m, well short of the qualifying distance.
This story was updated Tuesday morning.