© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Grade-11 student Jacob Ward sees how high he can jump using a scissor-kick during high jump practice last night at Amherst Regional High School. Dave Mathieson – Amherst Daily News
AMHERST – There will be 55 Amherst Regional High School track and field athletes represented at the 2012 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation District championships Friday and Saturday in Stellarton.
“The numbers are up from last year, so we’re seeing the program grow each year,” said track coach Leslie Brine, who is coaching the team for her third year.
“In a lot of events we have more athletes than we do spaces,” added Brine. “We can only submit five athletes per-event, so we’ve had a lot of time-trials, throw-trials, and jump-trials just to select some of the better athletes.
“We’ve had to make some tough decisions because we wish there was room for everybody but there isn’t.”
The ARHS track team has a lot of new athletes.
”We have a lot of students in Grade 9 out with the team this year, which is attributed to the work that’s been done at E.B. Chandler, which is good to see,” said Brine.
Team captain Owen Canton attributes much of the team’s growth to Brine’s influence.
“For a few years we didn’t really have a defined coach and for a couple years nobody knew who was going to coach the team,” said Canton. “Since Ms. Brine came on board track has become more stable and we’re more of a group and a team now.
“People feel more like they’re part of a team than they used to.”
He also said some of the senior athletes who haven’t competed the last couple of years are starting to come out as well.
“We have people running now who haven’t run in a few years,” said Canton. “They realize it’s their last year, so they don’t want to miss the chance to compete.”
The track and field team travels to Stellarton this weekend.
“It’s a beautiful facility down there, so we’re thrilled they’re hosting it again this year, and they’ll be hosting the regionals as well,” said Brine.