Trinity Western University high jumper Emma Nuttall is gearing up to compete in the biggest event of her life this week, as the defending Canada West and CIS champion will represent Scotland in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, starting Wednesday.
Nuttall, who has a personal best of 1.88-metres, will compete in the qualifying session tomorrow (July 30) at 10:45 a.m. at Glasgowâ€™s Hampden Park Stadium.
The top 12 jumpers advance to the final, which is set for Friday, Aug. 1.
While this will be the largest competition Nuttall has ever competed in, the Commonwealth Games also provide a rare opportunity to compete for Scotland at home on such a large scale.
â€œIâ€™m just looking forward to competing in front of the home crowd,â€ Nuttall said on Monday, shortly after moving into the athleteâ€™s village. â€œItâ€™s going to be the most amazing thing. The roar of the crowd behind every home athlete is just amazing.
â€œThereâ€™s just something about getting to compete for Scotland that makes it so much more exciting. Thereâ€™s also more of a family feel with the team. I canâ€™t wait.â€
The 22-year-old Nuttall, who will enter her fourth year with the Spartans this fall, is a two-time CIS champion and, since arriving at TWU in 2011, has flourished while training at the Langley campus.
â€œThe way that sport is viewed at Trinity Western has allowed me to be able to get physio treatment and strength and conditioning coaching all in one area,â€ Nuttall said. â€œItâ€™s helped me excel in my training and having all the teammates with you has helped push myself to new levels in my training, which has obviously itâ€™s helped me compete better. Being at Trinity Western has been a huge thing in getting me here.â€
Nuttall is one of a number of Spartans who will represent Canada this summer â€“ Regan Yee at the World Junior Championships and Nathan George and James Linde at the
NACAC Under-23 Championships amongst them â€“ and is an example of exactly what Spartans coach Laurier Primeau has been focusing on since arriving at TWU in 2011.
â€œWhen I started as head coach, we had begun with the mandate that we would be looking to put athletes on provincial and national teams,â€ Primeau said. â€œWe believe if that was our goal, then CIS results would fall in line.
â€œThis continues to be our mandate, knowing that if we can succeed internationally, we should certainly be able to succeed intercollegiately.â€
Nuttall owns both the CIS and Canada West meet records. This past year, she bettered the previous CIS mark of 1.87m, which was set by Tami Lutz of UBC in 1986, when she jumped 1.88m to win the gold medal.
In 2013, Nuttall set the Canada West mark at 1.85m, surpassing UBCâ€™s Jeannie Cockroft, who had jumped 1.84m in 1985.
In three years competing at the CIS level, Nuttall now has two CIS gold medals (2012 and 2014) and one CIS silver (2013) and two Canada West gold medals (2013 and 2014) and one Canada West silver (2012).