Alexa Dow can dream bigger.
Back in June, the 16-year-old said earning a spot on the Canadian National Youth Team was “an absolute dream come true” and getting the nod to compete for Canada at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago this month was an honour. What Dow hadn’t yet dreamed about was becoming the country’s flag bearer.
Dow was chosen by Commonwealth Sport Canada from Team Canada’s 74 athletes to carry the maple leaf along with Toronto rugby player Morgan Di Nardo in the opening ceremonies at the Commonwealth Youth Games. Their selections were based on their athletic achievements, and community and school involvement.
Once competition began, Dow didn’t have to wait long for her turn as the heats for the 1500m race, one of two races she’s participating in, were on the event’s first day. Aug. 7.
In her qualifying heat, Dow placed second with a 4:42.22 to advance to the final the following day, where she ran a 4:25.38 to place fifth overall in a fast race that saw a Commonwealth Youth Games record toppled by a runner from Kenya.
She’ll compete in the 800m as well but they didn’t begin until Aug. 9 so the results weren’t available at press time. The finals of that event were slated for Aug. 10.
Dow was the youngest runner in the race but became Canada’s national 800m U20 silver medalist after placing just 0.48 seconds behind the first-place finisher at the Bell Canadian Track and Field Championships July 30 in Langley.
Dow also holds provincial records in the U16 800, 1200, and 1500m events with personal bests of 2:06.98 in the 800m and 4:18.64 for the 1500m. This places her #1 in Canada in the U18 category in both distances.
She just broke the provincial record for the 1500m (a record that has stood since 1994) at the Harry Jerome Track Classic on July 14.
She’s also the current record holder for the BC High School Junior girls 1500m and also the 800m - running the fastest female junior and senior time in the history of BC school sports in the 800m with a time 2:07.41 in June at the BC High School Track and Field Championships in Langley.