Pickering's Speed Academy sends 11 to podium

Club members turn in a number of personal bests

EDMONTON — The Speed Academy had a number of its athletes turn in outstanding performances at the Canadian track-and-field championships in Edmonton.

The Pickering-based club had 11 podium finishes and six top-eight finishes at nationals.

Leading the way was Andre De Grasse, who won gold in the 100m, setting a personal best time of 9.95. De Grasse is on quite a roll heading into the Pan Am Games, having won the 100m and 200m at the NCAA championships as a member of the USC Trojans track team.

Other members of the club who turned in strong results were: Matthew Leliever, junior 400m gold; Leya Buchanan, junior 100m and 200m gold‎, setting new personal best times; Taylor Sharpe, junior 400m silver; Joshua Cunningham, 400m silver;  Mariam Abdul-Rashid, junior 400m hurdles silver; Maya Stephens, junior 100m silver, new personal best, 200m 8th; Daijha Heron, junior triple jump silver, new personal best, long jump bronze; Emma Li, junior pole vault bronze; Brittany Vernon, junior long jump 4th; Micah Peters, junior triple jump 4th; Ingvar Mosley, 110m hurdles 4th, new personal best; Shemar Hines, junior triple jump 8th.


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.