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Langley's Lovett aims for podium in Mexico

After a bum ankle sidelined him for a couple of months, Django Lovett is back on track and going for gold
New Mexico Lobos’ Django Lovett clears the bar during his high jump attempt at the Mountain West Conference track championships back in May. The high jumper is home for the summer and currently in Mexico competing at the NACAC Games.
Despite missing the indoor season and a couple months of training, Django Lovett has recovered to represent his country.The 20-year-old is in Guanajuato, Mexico where he is representing Canada at the 2012 North American, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) U23 world championships this weekend (July 6-8).Last week, Lovett was in Calgary for the Canadian Olympic Trials, finishing third in the high jump at 2.16m.Had he cleared 0.15m more (2.31m), he would have qualified for the London Olympic Games. His personal best is 2.18m.It is a far cry from where Lovett found himself back in January.Lovett, who just finished his sophomore season at the University of New Mexico, was riding his bicycle to practice when he was struck by a vehicle.While the impact was minor, it was enough to bump him off his bike and he landed awkwardly on his ankle.“It set me back a pretty good deal,” Lovett said.Perhaps the hardest thing was having to stand on the sidelines and watch his teammates, focusing on rehabbing instead of competing.“It is always hard to not be there doing what you love to do,” Lovett said.“When you can’t do what you want to do, it hurts. But you have to stay mentally positive and get through it.”“The training staff did a great job of getting me back to where I was supposed to be,” he added.But through perseverance, he found himself back competing, and did well enough to earn a berth at the NCAA outdoor championships.He finished 19th in the country, clearing 2.15m.“Coming off the injury, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said.“I went in there with a positive attitude and a great result came out of it.”While he would have loved to have qualified for this summer’s Olympics, Lovett knows that is a goal for further down the road.He has represented Canada previously at the the world junior championships in 2009.Lovett also won the B.C. provincial high school high jump title three years running, from 2008 to 2010 for Brookswood Secondary. And he parlayed that success into a scholarship to the University of New Mexico.He also trains in the summers with Abbotsford’s Valley Royals.