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Sport Nova Scotia – Heatherton Nova Scotia’s Mike Tate is only 21, two Olympiad’s away from when he should be nearing his running peak, but the giant steps he has taken the past couple years make it difficult to imagine the limits of his distance running performances. His fans are hoping he’ll make another breakthrough at this year’s Aileen Meagher International Track Classic on June 22nd at Huskies Stadium here in Halifax.

Now running at Southern Utah University Tate has taken over two minutes off his 5000 meters personal best in two years, an improvement so rapid and so huge he has to reset his intermediate term goals from 13:50 to something closer to the Olympic standard of 13:25. Longer term the Olympic standard of 28:00 for the 10,000 may be the test by which he measures his running.

Known for a field demolishing final lap Mike Tate will be defending his 1500m title at the Meagher this year with a sub-3:40 a goal depending on the weather and the competition. That’s over 2 seconds faster than a sub-4 minute mile pace so you know Mike Tate has high, but totally realistic ambitions. In three years at Southern Utah he has already chopped 8 seconds from his 1500 pb so chopping off a few more as he progresses from early season to pre-trials form is a definite possibility.

What does Mike Tate do when he’s not blazing the pace on the track or in a cross-country race? He keeps on moving. “When I’m not racing or training I enjoy going hiking. I live an hour from Zions National Park so there are plenty of beautiful hikes around.”

While now running for Southern Utah University Tate is quick to credit the coaching he received here in Nova Scotia for laying the foundation for his current success. “Right from the beginning I had great coaching. When I was living and training in Antigonish, Kevin Grant, Bernie Chisholm and Chris MacKinnon were my main coaches. Kevin really got me started in the sport and showed me how successful I could be. Bernie really helped me out every year allowing me to run with St. F.X. over the  winters. Chris coached me all through high school and helped me get ready for running at the next level.”

Mike Tate has moved several levels higher the past three years. At the Aileen Meagher International Track Classic on June 22nd, we could see him move to yet another on the Huskies Stadium track.