top of page

This track star dominated running competitions from the local to the national level throughout most of the 1970s. He first made his presence known competing for Fort William Collegiate Institute (FWCI), claiming the 1970 SSSAA Midget Boys Cross-Country title, knocking six seconds off the previous record.

That same year he won the SSSAA Track and Field championship titles in the 100, 200 and 400m Dash. Also a standout football player, he helped his school claim the Northwestern Ontario High School junior title and was named the team’s best back fielder.

Representing Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario as a high school athlete, and as a member of the Thunder Bay Olympic Club, he dominated events, often in record setting time. In 1970, he placed 1st in the 800m and 2nd in the 1500m senior event at the Manitoba Track and Field Championships. In 1971, he claimed the 800m title at the Ontario Senior and Junior Track and Field Championships.

After just two years of competition, it seemed that every time he stepped onto the track a trip to the podium would soon follow. Claiming gold in the 200m, 400m and 800m, he was the 1973 SSSAA overall Junior Boys champion. At the 1973 Ontario High School Track and Field Indoor Championships (OFSAA) in Toronto he won the 800m event, coming in second in the same event at the Ontario Junior Championships, establishing new junior and juvenile records for a runner from northwestern Ontario.

At the 1973 Ontario Summer Games, his first place showing in the 800m earned him a spot on Team Ontario and a trip to the 1973 Canada Summer Games where he won individual gold in the 800m, and as a member of Ontario’s 4 x 400 metre relay team. Just missing the podium with a 4th place showing in the 800m at the 1973 Canadian Senior Championships, he brought home gold from the Juvenile Indoor Championships.

His university career included a scholarship from West Texas State University, time with Lakehead University’s track team, where he contributed to their first ever Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) track title in 1975, and time on the track with California State University.

Between 1975 and 1977 he claimed a number of titles, starting with gold medal performances in the 4 x 400m relay at the 1975 Ontario Summer Games and 1975 Canadian Indoor Championships. In 1976, he claimed gold in the 800m at the Ontario Senior Championships, Ontario Summer Games and National Junior Track & Field Championships and two silver medals from the Canadian Senior Championships, as well as, putting in a 3rd place showing at the 1976 Olympic Trials in Montreal. He rounded out his running career claiming silver and bronze medals at the 1977 Ontario Summer Games, marking a fine finish to a successful running career.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 29, 1984

David Karila

Thunder Bay
bottom of page