Records are made to be broken, but they’re not usually made to smashed, shattered and blown to smithereens.
That’s what happened Friday at the Western Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (WOSSAA) track and field championships in London, when Oakridge secondary school’s Julia Tunks delivered a throw of 54.21 metres in senior girls discus, beating the old mark by nearly 11 metres and further burnishing her reputation as a budding Canadian star.
“It’s huge,” said Dave Mills, a 42-year veteran of coaching in local track and field. He said when WOSSAA records are broken in throwing events like discus “it’s usually (by) 30, 40, 50 centimetres.
“To have an 11-metre difference is just massive.”
The Tunks throw of 54.21 metres broke the WOSSAA record set in 2004 by Megan Weaver of the Lucas Vikings (43.76 metres).
Perhaps it’s no surprise. Tunks, who has committed to compete in college for UCLA in California, is the daughter of Londoner Jason Tunks, a three-time Olympian in the discus. He’s also been her coach.
Her mother, Lieja Koeman, went to two Olympics for shot put.
Said Mills: “As Londoners, it would be wise to pay attention to this kid. She comes from good stock – both parents are Olympians – and it’s projecting to be an outstanding future for her.”
As impressive as the record may be, it likely won’t last long. Tunks is only in Grade 11 at Oakridge, so she’ll be back at WOSSAA again next spring, too.
Throws standout Julia Tunks commits to UCLA, eyes early Olympic berth
Julia Tunks ready to follow Olympian dad Jason’s discus-tossing footsteps