Speed Academy athletes set Canadian records at junior Worlds

Oshawa’s Mariam Abdul-Rashid finishes fifth in 400m hurdles

EUGENE. OREGON -- Two members of the Pickering-based Speed Academy turned in record-setting performances at the world junior track-and-field championships in Oregon.

Oshawa’s Mariam Abdul-Rashid finished in fifth place in the 400-metre hurdles final, setting a Canadian youth record of 57.42 seconds, while Pickering’s Taylor Sharpe was the lead runner for Canada’s 4x400m relay team that finished fourth and set a Canadian junior record of 3:33.17.

There were three other Speed Academy athletes at the meet, including Leya Buchanan, who was eliminated in semifinals of the 200m, but not before running a personal best of 23.96 in the first round.

Graeme Thompson was eliminated in the first round of 400m, running 49.01, while Josh Cunningham was eliminated in the 400m semifinal, running 47.91.

Ajax’s Tia Thevenin, who is with the Project Athletics club in Markham, was eliminated in the semifinal of 100m hurdles, and set a personal best of 13.63 in the first round.

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.