OFF AND RUNNING AT CBU
Baddeck’s Maddie Campbell has jump on competition this season
NSSAF regional track and field meet starts today.
Baddeck track star Maddie Campbell is literally reaching new heights this year.
The Grade 11 student has set personal bests in five events this year, including the high jump, which she established earlier this year at 1.63 metres before eclipsing it again last weekend with a 1.65-metre leap — the highest in the province this season — at the Cape BretonVictoria district meet in Sydney.
“It’s small improvements but it doesn’t feel that way,” said Campbell, 17, who will look to continue her impressive season when she represents Baddeck Academy at Highland Region track and field championships today and Saturday at the Cape Breton Health and Recreation Complex on the Cape Breton University campus.
“I’m always looking to do the best I can do that day. Maybe that turns out to be a personal best if the weather permits and everything — that would be a goal.” Probably a long-term goal would be to make the Nova Scotia youth team and the Canada Games team.”
After posting her best numbers in both the indoor and outdoor high jumps, as well as the 60-metre run, long jump and discus throw, Campbell, a twotime provincial team member who finished sixth at Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships nationals last year in Quebec, is hoping to peak later this summer when she’ll have to place first or second to make the provincial and Canada Games squads.
She credits a lot of hard work in the off-season for her improved performances. A member of the Pictou County Athletics track club, she trained at an indoor soccer facility this winter, and spent much of her time at home in Baddeck either at the gym or out running.
“So far I’ve PB’d in all my events but I can definitely attribute that to all of the training that I put in through the winter. Every season you’re hoping that you’ve done that much more to get your personal best but I’m hoping I can keep improving through the actual competition season,” said Campbell, who will be competing in the hurdles, high jump, long jump, discus, shot put and relay this weekend.
“It’s nice to have the standard made so when you go to the meet you can kind of relax and be like ‘I can do this,’ but you still have to make the top two spots,”
While more than 460 athletes
representing nearly 20 schools will be at the Highland Region track and field championships, meet director Dr. Greg Myatt said Campbell will be “one person to watch” at the largest Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation event in Cape Breton.
“It’s the biggest event by quite a bit, so it should be exciting,” said Myatt, who is hoping more athletes like Campbell emerge as Sydney prepares to host the best 13- to 17-year-old track athletes in Canada at the Legion National Youth Track and Field Championships in both 2019 and 2020.
“We’re very eager to develop those kids. We’re seeing development happen very quickly in people — in two or three years — so we have a chance to showcase Cape Breton talent at a national event. We’re pretty keen on finding those people, so we’ll be looking to identify those people at these meets and then encourage them to continue on the next few years.”
Myatt is also hoping members of the public will check out this weekend’s meet and hopefully become involved as volunteers at future meets, including the nationals.
“We’re kind of in a unique situation here — we’ve got all of the physical infrastructure, now we need the people infrastructure,” he said, noting that people can show up at the registration desk during the meet, which runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day, to learn more. “One thing we need are officials — the more officials we have homegrown, the less money we have to spring to pay to bring them in, and that’s one of out biggest costs of hosting this event would be to bring in officials. So the more people we can train to be officials in the next couple years, the more money we’re going to save. If we can identify these people they save us a lot of money and play a major role at this national event.”
Campbell also encouraged anyone interested in track to give it a chance, saying the sport has something to offer anyone.
“It’s for everybody,” she said. “There are so many different disciplines. It’s not like everybody is running, or everybody is jumping, or everybody is throwing — there’s a lot of variety.”
Maddie Campbell of Baddeck clears the bar as she makes a high jump in this submitted photo. Campbell, who has set personal bests in the 60-metre run, long jump, discus throw and both the indoor and outdoor high jumps, will look to continue her impressive season when she represents Baddeck Academy at Highland Region track and field championships today and Saturday at the Cape Breton Health and Recreation Complex on the Cape Breton University campus.