Josh Sperry leaps into the air at the Provincial Track and Field Championships.
AMHERST – It’s only his first year competing in track and field but Josh Sperry has put the province on notice.
The E.B. Chandler Grade 8 student won double gold at the Provincial Track and Field Championships over the weekend, finishing first in the junior boy’s 100-metre hurdles and the triple jump.
“It felt really good,” said Sperry when asked about winning two gold medals.
The final in the hurdles was close.
Sperry was the only hurdler to finish with a sub-16-second time. He finished in 15.97 seconds, while the next five finishers were less than one second behind him.
Sperry said he was nervous at the start line but just focused on running his own race.
“I didn’t see where the other runners finished,” said Sperry.
Sperry’s sister, Nicola, now attends St. Francis Xavier University but was an ARHS hurdler who also ran at the provincial championships.
She offered advice on his technique telling him to snap his lead leg down immediately after going over the hurdle, advice that paid off.
Josh’s hurdles coach Laura Wilson said Sperry was apprehensive about trying out for the hurdles but once he started to work on them he progressed very fast.
“It’s rare for an athlete to win two events, so we’re really proud of him,” said Wilson when speaking of herself, head track coach Peter Nixon, and co-coaches Angela Blenkhorn and Ken MacKenzie.
Sperry jumped 11.27-metres in the triple jump, and said the event is his favourite.
Stephen Belyea, who won gold for ARHS in the triple jump at this year’s provincials in the senior boys division, helped Sperry on his triple jump at E.B. Chandler.
“I really appreciate his help,” said Sperry.
Sperry will join Belyea on the track next year at ARHS, and hopes students at E.B. Chandler follow in his footsteps.
“They should try out try out for more than one event because they might be good at something they didn’t think they’d be good at,” said Sperry.
Wilson said she will miss Sperry.
“Josh is a really hard worker,” said Wilson. “He’s one of the athletes I can always joke around with but when it’s time to get down to business he’s very dedicated.
His leadership will be missed as well.
“He takes time to look after other athletes who need help and he’s one of the people we look to for leadership both on and off the field.” said Wilson.
“We’ve been very happy to have him.”