The Speed Academy turns in top times

Personal bests and podium finishes for sprinters, jumpers

TORONTO -- It was another weekend of incredible performances by The Speed Academy athletes at York University.

The midget and youth age groups began the weekend by winning a total of seven medals at the Royal Canadian Legion provincial championships. Mariam Abdul-Rashid led the way for the girls, winning gold in the 60m and 200m. Her winning time of 7.73 in the 60m was a personal best. She is currently ranked No. 1 in the province in the midget girls' division for 60m, 200m, 300m, 400m and 600m.

On the boys' side, it was Tacuma Anderson-Richards who led the way with two personal best performances. He won the youth boys' triple jump with a leap of 14.31m. Then in high jump he cleared a height of 2.03m. These performances put him atop the national youth ranking in both events.

Myles Williams and Joshua Cunningham led the way on the oval track taking home silver and bronze medals in the youth boys' 400m. Both boys raced to personal best performances of 51.14 and 51.48 respectively. Cunningham also snatched a bronze medal in the 200m. Yazin Joseph hurdled to a bronze-medal finish in the youth boys' 60 metre hurdles. He ran a personal best of 8.43 in the preliminary round. Other notable performances came from: Austin Marchese, who lowered his personal best to 7.32 over 60 metres; Ashton Hyde raced to personal best performances in the 400m and 800m, with times of 53.0 and 2:01.9 respectively; newcomer Amara Ehirim turned in a solid performance in the 400m, finishing seventh with a time of 52.17; Cameron Rodrigues also clocked in with a personal best time of 54.34 in the 400m.

The following day, The Speed Academy junior boys took to the track at the Ontario combined events championships, competing against some of Canada's top sprinters. Brandon Bobb and Wesley Best battled to fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the open men's 60-metre sprint. Best broke the tape in a personal best time of 6.87, just a wink ahead of Bobb, who also clocked in with the same time. Shaquan Williams and Dillando Allotey chased the Canadian 400m champion Tremaine Harris to fourth and sixth finishes in the 400m with personal best times of 51.21 and 52.38 respectively.

Canada's Morales Williams riding with confidence as NCAA indoor 400m champion Morales Williams riding success with confidence.

Christopher Morales Williams

Christopher Morales Williams, of Vaughan, Ont., is seen in action for the University of Georgia during the NCAA Southeastern Conference indoor championships, in Fayetteville, Ark., in a Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-University of Georgia, Wesley Hitt, *MANDATORY CREDIT* GAC

The switch flipped for Christopher Morales Williams in the time of the 2023 outdoor season.

Last spring, the runner from Vaughan, Ont., learned to control his negative thoughts, discovered that it was OK to feel nervous before races, and built his confidence.

Morales Williams credits the change in philosophy for the recent addition of NCAA national champion to his growing resume.