Team members wearing ribbon in memory of Barry Kelly
© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Logan Dowe hurls a javelin during track and field training May 9 at ARHS.
AMHERST – Track and field continues to increase in popularity at Amherst Regional High School, and that’s good news as they head into the district championships today in Stellarton.
“What’s neat about this year is that we have a good balance between the different events, so we’ve really strengthened our throwing and jumping, as well as our events on the track,” said head coach Leslie Brine, who has coached the track team for a few years now.
“We’re a better-balanced team than in previous years. I think it’s because the interest level has picked up.”
The team returns home Thursday night, and then returns to Sellarton for the second day of districts on Saturday.
Greg Curtis graduated from ARHS is 2009. He was a thrower on the field team and helps Brine coach when he can get away from work.
“It’s a different crop of students than when I was here,” said Curtis. “They’re really enthusiastic about track and field, and sports in general.
"And Leslie has had a huge impact on the program. She’s dedicated beyond belief,” he added. “You couldn’t ask any more of her. She’s been great.”
Brine has high hopes for the team heading down to Stellarton.
“Everyone is really well prepared,” she said. “They’ve really improved their conditioning over the last couple of weeks and, as a team, they’ve never looked stronger. They’re bringing a lot of talent and spirit.”
The track and field team is going to put a piece of pink pro-wrap on the left shoulder of their jerseys in memory of Barry Kelly, who was the principal of Spring Street Academy before he lost his battle with cancer last year.
They will wear the ribbon at the districts, the regionals and the provincials.
Willie Legere and Stephen Belyea brought the idea forward.
“Barry was a big supporter of sport and we thought we should do something to give back,” said Legere. “And his son Nathan was a member of our track team and he came back later and coached us, so this is a way to show support for him and what he did for our team as well.”
The regional championships are May 24-25 in Stellarton, and the provincial championships are the following weekend at the Beazley field in Dartmouth.
More photos from the practice can be seen on the slide show section at www.cumberlandnewnow.com