Speed Academy travels to Ohio in search of competition

Pickering club earns 11 medals agaisnt top high school athletes from US

PICKERING -- The Speed Academy Athletics Club traveled to Ohio to compete against some of the top high school track athletes in the United States at the Spire High School Showcase.

The club returned from Ohio with a total of 11 medals. Mariam Abdul-Rashid of Oshawa led the way, winning the 60m hurdles and the 200m. Alanna Hendricks from Pickering and Divina Henry from Ajax were also victorious in the girls' 60m and 400m respectively. Xahria Santiago of Ajax and Ebhani Blackwood took home silver medals the 200m and 400m respectively. The foursome later teamed-up in the 4x400m relay to win gold.

On the boys' side, high jumpers Leaugen Fray snatched a gold medal and his teamate Micha Peters finished with the silver medal. Cole Norton also mounted the podium, capturing a bronze medal in the boys' 60m.

The Speed Academy high schoolers will resume training in preparation for the Ontario junior championships on March 7-8, and they will conclude the indoor season with the US High School Indoor Nationals in New York City, March 13-15.

Tony Sharpe helps score scholarships for track and field stars

tony sharpe

Sharpe, the former Canadian Olympian, runs the Speed Academy, a developmental track and field club in Pickering, which has helped dozens of athletes get NCAA scholarships.

The club was founded in 2006 and Sharpe left his corporate account manager’s job at Bell to track athletes full-time a few years later.

“I’m a full-time coach, you know, not something people do often in Canada,” says Sharpe, 59, adding about 50 Speed Academy athletes have received scholarships.