Oshawa's Mariam Abdul-Rashid perfect at nationals

Sprinter wins gold in all six events she entered

PICKERING -- It's easy to put the accomplishments of Mariam Abdul-Rashid into perspective.

Take baseball for example. If a player has enough days where he goes one-for-three at the plate and can maintain a .300 batting average, he's likely destined for the hall of fame.

If such a shrine was established for athletes who have competed at the Canadian national youth track-and-field championships, Oshawa's Mariam Abdul-Rashid would be a lock to be inducted on the first ballot.

In six events at the championships held in Charlottetown, PEI, Abdul-Rashid scored a perfect six-for-six, winning gold medals in every event she entered.

She took the top spot on the medal podium after crossing the line first in each of the 100m, 200m, 300m, 4x100m sprint medley relay and 4x400m relay.

"She's so much fun. It's so easy to work with an athlete like that," says Tony Sharpe, her coach at the Speed Academy, based in Pickering. "I don't think she's missed one practice in a year. She doesn't miss practice.

"It's not because she's looking forward to the work, it's the camaraderie with the other girls that you don't often see in track and field being an individual sport."

Just before nationals, Sharpe says he limited the number of events his prized sprinter entered at provincials to just one individual and two relay events, ensuring she was rested and peaking at the right time for nationals.

Good call, as the results would suggest.

"Other coaches might have put her in everything and then tried to come back in two weeks and do it all over again," says Sharpe. "We viewed this as the objective of the season to go to PEI."

Abdul-Rashid will be off the track for a month before she joins the rest of her Speed Academy teammates in preparation for the indoor season.

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.