Anastas Eliopoulos exploded this past track season, as he graduated as a senior high school student from Vancouver College. This first-year student at the University of British Columbia may wear the Thunderbird singlet for the first time at the Harry Jerome Indoor Classic presented by TELUS on February 3rd at the Richmond Olympic Oval. He was a triple gold medalist at the BC High School Championships in 2017 setting a meet record in the hurdles of 13.62. He followed this with a gold at the National Junior (U20) Championships in Ottawa with 13.56 and a new Canadian Junior record (U20) in Lima, Peru at the Pan American Junior Championships. His time of 13.36 broke the Canadian Junior Record of 13.43 set in 2011 by Olympian, Jonathan Cabral. Anastas is ranked 5th in the U20 world list for 2017.
What does the 2018 season hold for this speedster? First year at any university is a challenging transition on all fronts. Let alone the academic challenges, adjustments to a new environment, new coaches and in the case of a hurdler, there are new heights to clear. U20 hurdle heights are 99.1 cm (3’3”) while collegiate and senior competition it is 106.7cm (3’6”). What can we expect the impact of this new height requirement to be for Anastas?
Joey Daniels of Kitchener, ON is now a sophomore at Princeton. He had a personal best of 13.56 over the 99.1cm. As a freshman last year he took almost 10 races over the 106.7cm hurdles to consistently break the 14.00-second mark. His best came in the summer with a 13.94 in Guelph, ON.
Anastas may well have a chance of the podium at the NAIA next spring as the winning time in the 110m hurdles this year was 14.24 and before he graduates, he could better the current NAIA record of 13.74. Let us hope that he finds little trouble in converting to the higher hurdle height.
More immediate is the Jerome Indoor Games presented by TELUS. Should Anastas Eliopoulos run the open 60m hurdles at 1.06.7cm height, he will face the meet record of 8.28 seconds set in 2013 by Calum Innes of Trinity Western University. If he runs the 60m, he could face Stephen Abosi of Thunderbirds Track Club who has already run 6.79 seconds this season in Edmonton.
Check this great article on Anastas by Howard Tsumura in The Province here