A freshman at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., Robert Heppenstall broke the university record and set a new Canadian junior indoor 800m record running 1:47.35 (previous record was 1:48.16).
— CanadianRunning (@CanadianRunning) February 27, 2016
Competing at the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) track championships on Saturday, the Hamilton, Ont. native became the first athlete in school history to win ACC gold in the 800m. Today, Feb. 28, is his 19th birthday.
The meet took place at Reggie Lewis Centre in Roxbury, Mass. Fellow Canadian Justyn Knight also had a stellar meet winning the men’s 5,000m at the conference championships, considered one of the strongest regions in the United States.
Robert Heppenstall won the #ACCITF 800m to highlight the final day for the Deacs!
— Wake Track (@WakeTrack) February 28, 2016
The previous record, held by Canadian Graham Hood, had stood since March 3, 1991. In addition to his junior career, Hood had an outstanding career as a senior athlete (20 and above) winning gold at the Pan Am Games in 1999. He represented Canada at the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics.
In addition to the university record and Canadian record, Heppenstall’s time also broke the ACC meet record, previously held by David Krummenacker of Georgia Tech set in 1998 (1:47.77).
According to the Athletics Canada guidelines, an athlete is junior eligible if he or she is 19 years of age as of Dec. 31 in the year of competition. In this case, Heppenstall was 18 at the time of running and fulfills the criteria.