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.

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.