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Armstrong, George top in inaugural NTL

Phylicia George

Phylicia George

OTTAWA – The first edition of the National Track League (NTL) wrapped up in Toronto on Wednesday with the crowing of the first ever NTL champions at the Toronto International Track + Field Games.  Each NTL winner took home a beautiful glass trophy and a cash prize of $4,000.  Final performance scores were tabulated and today Dylan Armstrong from Kamloops, B.C., and Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., have been named top NTL athletes for 2011. 
By way of the IAAF Points Table, the top five male and top five female NTL athletes were identified by calculating the average of the best two performances in one event held at NTL competitions.  The winners receive a cash prize of $5,000.  By way of Dylan Armstrong’s shot put performances of 21.36 metres in Victoria and 21.23 metres in Toronto he is the top male athlete with an average IAAF score of 1198.5 points.  In the women’s hurdles Phylicia George’s performances of 12.76 in Halifax and 12.87 in Toronto placed her first among the women with 1173.5 IAAF points.

·         Final Series & Performance Standings

Like an eager young sprinter in the blocks, the NTL seemed to get off to a shaky start when extreme weather conditions forced the cancellation of the Edmonton International.  The competition in Edmonton was slated as the first of five on the inaugural circuit.  After some minor alterations to the series scoring structure NTL did get off and running a few days later at the Harry Jerome International Track Classic in Vancouver, B.C.

Doug Clement, Meet Director of the Harry Jerome International Track Classic, speaks about the NTL impact on his competition. “26 World Championship standards, 46 personal and 70 seasonal best performances plus 5 new meet records by athletes from 16 countries I think says it all.”  Clement, who has been at the helm of the Harry Jerome since the first edition in 1983 adds, “In my opinion the National Track League has made a strong statement.  International competition can be held in Canada every summer preparing our athletes for the world stage.”

Once underway the series never looked back, with deep fields and great performances throughout, highlighted by 14 World Championship B standards, 12 World Championship A standards and one new Canadian record.

Alex Gardiner, Olympic Head Coach, talks about NTL’s role in Athletics Canada’s high performance program, “Support and enthusiasm for the NTL was beyond our expectations. Athletes and coaches were provided with an international calibre series that yielded outstanding results, showcased our sport, and exposed developing athletes to high performance competitions in our quest to prepare them for World Championships and Olympic Games.  Bravo and thanks to the meet organizers and our partners!”

The NTL was created to serve three core pillars of Athletics Canada’s strategic plan; athlete development, deliver good competitive opportunities on home soil, enhance resources for athletics in Canada.  Early indications show that NTL is having an impact on these objectives; a solid foundation has been laid to support Canadian track and field for years to come.

Planning is already well underway for the 2012 National Track League circuit with first orders of business being selection of dates and identification of NTL disciplines.


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