If all goes to plan, then the 1,200-metre final this weekend will be a photo finish for first and second place, brother versus brother.
Thomas and Peter Oxland are two of five Nanaimo athletes in Ottawa this week for the 2011 Legion Canadian Youth Athletics Championships. There they’ll be facing the nation’s top U16 runners, including one another.
“We always push each other,” Peter said. “Even during workouts and especially during races.”
Thomas said it’s good to have Peter competing in the same sport.
“We both don’t like to lose to each other.”
Thomas is also racing the 800m, while Peter is also entered in the 1,500m and 2,000m events. The twins, going into Grade 9 at Dover Bay Secondary School, cheer the other on when they’re not on the same track.
“It’s good to have a brother around just to say, ‘Get ’er next time’ if I have a bad race or something,” Peter said.
The 1,200m event might be most interesting, but the 800m is also highly anticipated as Thomas goes to Ottawa ranked No. 1 in Canada for his age group.
“The people who do well [at Legions] usually go on to do big things in track, so hopefully I’ll get a name for myself here and keep going,” he said.
TRACK SHORTS … The Oxlands won’t be Nanaimo’s only set of twins at the meet. Marita and Erica DeSchiffart are also running at Legions, as is Nanaimo’s Miryam Bassett.