Pickering’s Kerwin Jackson running with the Dragons at Tiffin

Pickering High School graduate gets scholarship to university in Ohio

PICKERING -- Kerwin Jackson is another fine example of the eye the late Cyril Sahadath had for talented track athletes.

The legendary coach stopped a young Jackson in the halls of Pickering High School one day and suggested he come out for the track team. Having been cut from the school’s soccer team, track wasn’t anywhere on Jackson’s radar.

“I tried out for the school soccer team and didn’t make it. I was walking the hall one day and Cyril saw me and said, ‘You should come out for track.’ I was like, track? I never really thought of track as its own sport before. I never really considered it until he brought it up to me,” he recalls.

Four years later, after graduating from high school, Jackson has made the transition into university, earning a Division II scholarship to Tiffin University in Ohio. He hopes to be running the 400m and 400m hurdles for the Dragons.

The Pickering resident started out as a soccer player in the local club, but in Grade 11, he went to a practice with the Pickering-based Speed Academy headed by former Olympic sprinter Tony Sharpe. He joined, working on reducing his times on the track and increasing his marks in the classroom.

“Tony was really pushing the idea of education with the track career. He was saying that if you get serious, train hard and keep up your marks, you can go down and get an education,” Jackson says. “I thought I could do that.”

He focused his efforts on the 400m and 400m hurdles, and when some exposure to NCAA schools started to come his way, he began to put a list of criteria together of what he wanted in a school.

“I wanted a school that wasn’t too far away,” he says. “I really wanted to have a program that was adaptable to something that will be relevant and something I can use going forward in my life.

“I really wanted the opportunity to be working when I’m in school. Something that had a co-op. I found that at Tiffin.”

Because Tiffin was a Division II school, Jackson didn’t think he would get in. But he went to visit the campus anyway, and first impressions made a lasting one on the 17 year old.

“I went down there and was blown away. I was so shocked. It was everything I wanted and more,” he says.

When he’s not representing the Dragons at NCAA track meets, Jackson will be enrolled in the computer information technology course. Excited about entering a new environment, he ended the summer season on a high note, setting a personal best in the 400m at the provincial championships in Ottawa.

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.