Smith out of Front Street mile
Instead of being one of the competitors to watch in Friday night's senior school boys mile, Tyler Smith will be on the sidelines when defending champion David Darrell goes for a third straight title on Front Street.
Smith broke his foot warming up for the mile trials in November before going on to run the fastest qualifying time of 4min 52sec only to later discover the severity of the injury.
The setback is a blow to Smith, a talented triathlete who was last year's Young Male Athlete of the Year. This would have been his final schools' race, a race he was hoping to win for the first time.
“I was warming up for the mile trial, rolled my foot and felt a slight discomfort,” the 17-year-old said.
“I thought it was maybe a little bruise or torn ligament. I still ran in the race but afterwards it started feeling sore so I went and got it checked out.
“I found out parts of the bone had fractured off and for just under a month I've been wearing the boot cast so I haven't been able to do any running.”
Smith finished third in the senior school mile in 2014 and last year came second as Darrell beat him by three seconds to defend his title.
He was hoping to push the likes of Darrell, Aaron Jacobs and 14-year-old Quincy Kuzyk for the title.
“I know David, Aaron and Quincy are still running, I'll come down on Friday to watch,” Smith said.
“I really felt that after all the training I had been doing last year that I would be able to come and do something really good in the mile. I was looking for a really quick time.
“That [mile trial] was a pretty comfortable race, so I was looking for something quick.
“I'm sure the other guys are going to be running really fast and strong so I'll come out to watch that. Quincy has really been training hard, in the cross-country and track he ran fast and he is still young.
“I've known him for a while and he's definitely getting a lot quicker.”
This is the second limb fracture for Smith who broke his arm in a bicycle accident a couple of years ago.
“Hopefully this one isn't too major, I injured it about six weeks ago so that's a lot of time out of training,” said Smith, who is aiming to compete in the North American Triathlon Championships in Sarasota, Florida, in March.
“That's the first step in qualifying for the World Championships. I have other goals further down in the year so this is still really early season for me.
“I'm looking more towards May, July, July, the summer when I really need to be in top shape. I'm just waiting for the bone to heal, hopefully that happens sooner rather than later so that I get back training.”
Saltus schoolmates Ashley Irby, Lynsey Palmer and Laura Hope will be among the favourites for Kyrah Scraders's high school girls title along with Messiah Greaves of Bermuda High School.
Scraders ended her high school running career with a thrilling victory over Greaves in last year's race as both recorded a time of 5:30.41 in the closest finish of the night.
Now a new champions is set to be crowned with Irby, who is stepping up to the senior school division after a record performance in her middle school race a year ago, the one to beat.
She is aiming to win for the fifth year in a row after two primary and two middle school wins.