Column: Running down a dream

John
John Browne
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Daniel Kelloway’s NCAA track career with Simon Fraser University is off and running. The Mount Pearl native won the 400-metre even in his first two meet, setting conference-best times in both.

Daniel Kelloway may be the best kept secret in provincial sports, but that’s soon likely to change.
Outside of the track and field fraternity, Kelloway’s exploits have pretty much gone under the radar.

Kelloway competed for Newfoundland and Labrador at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que., last August where he just missed earning a bronze medal.

Of course a medal win at the Games would have put Kelloway on the map here since podium finishes are like hens teeth for this province.

Still, he set a provincial senior record with a time of 48.01 seconds in the men's 400-metre final. He finished fourth but just a hundredth of a second behind the third-place finisher.

Kelloway rates the Canada Games experience as his best memory in his sport so far.

“It’s definitely a favourite,” he said. “It was the best race I ever ran and I got to do it while representing Newfoundland Labrador.”

That performance, coming in a season where he dominated the local scene, raised a few eyebrows and hinted at the potential of the 19-year-old from Mount Pearl.

It wasn’t a flash in the pan.

A few weeks ago, Kelloway, competing for Simon Fraser University, took part in his first NCAA meet, finishing in first with a GNAC (Great Northwest Athletic Conference) leading time of 49.42 seconds in the 400 metres. His time ranks him second in Canada thus far for national indoor standings, just a tenth of a second off the number one ranking.

He bettered that time in his second NCAA win recently, the University of Washington indoor invitational, improving his GNAC conference leading time to 49.02.

Kelloway was contacted by SFU following the Canada Games. The Canadian school, which competes in university sports in the United States, gave him a full NCAA athletic and academic scholarship.

“I didn't have too high expectations going into my first meet, but I am very happy with the result,” said Kelloway, before adding, “although I think I can still do a lot better next time.”

Kelloway says he will travel quite a bit with SFU which is located in Burnaby, B.C.

“We have meets all along the west coast from British Columbia to California.

He said he hopes to qualify for the indoor and outdoor nationals in North Carolina and Michigan, but he hasn’t reached the required standard yet.

He runs the 200m and 400m — his favourite — at SFU and is also part of the Clan’s 4x100m relay team.

“Outside of SFU, I hope to run in a couple big competitions this summer such as the Canadian championships in Moncton, N.B., and possibly some more.”

Pearlgate Track and Field Club coach Doug Halliday, who Kelloway has trained with the past four years, says “Daniel is a true student of the sport.

“His desire to learn and improve is something I’ve rarely seen in my time as an athlete and a coach. He’s a very modest and quiet guy but is a silent leader that his peers go to all the time,” noted Halliday.

Kelloway, who started running track at seven, played soccer and hockey for O’Donel High School but gave up both sports to concentrate on track and school.

“Athletics definitely played a big role in my decision to come here (SFU). Being able to compete not only with a varsity team but in the NCAA is a huge opportunity. However academically this was an easy decision as SFU is one of the top ranked schools in Canada.

He said he’d like to compete for Canada if given the chance, “but I still have a long ways to go. It’s definitely not an easy team to make, but nothing is impossible.”

“Things are going great so far SFU,” said Kelloway who is taking math, earth science and Canadian history courses and plans on doing a major in earth sciences with a possible minor in physics.

Kelloway said he isn’t quite sure of his plans after he graduates.

“Of course, if I’m having a lot of success with track then I would like to continue with that, but I will likely take it year by year.”

Kelloway, who trains a couple of hours a day, five or six days out of a week, said he likes to set “high goals” for himself and “I’ll do whatever it takes to achieve them.

See PRIORITY, page C3

“Whenever I race I do it against myself more than anything, setting new personal bests and pushing my limits is my number one priority, not finishing first.”

But there are always challenges, right?

“There are a lot of difficulties that come with any sport, but finding a way to run a little bit faster each race can sometimes be difficult. Each time you compete you give 110 per cent, so trying to find a way to do better than that the next time is challenging.”

But that doesn’t mean he is consumed by running fast.

“Trying to maintain such a high level of training while in school is very difficult at times.

“Of course, academics comes first, so I often find myself trying to do workouts between classes or whenever I find the time, it can be very tiring at times,” he admitted.

“Sports are definitely a huge part of my life,” he added, “but I wouldn't say they’re at the top of the list. Family and friends would have to come first.”

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Simon Fraser University, NCAA, Canada Games University of Washington Pearlgate Track and Field Club O’Donel High School

Geographic location: California, Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador Sherbrooke Mount Pearl United States Burnaby British Columbia North Carolina Michigan Moncton

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