Cassie runs for fun
Cassie Kemp impressed more than a few teachers at St. Catharines Collegiate with her running abilities.
The teachers worked hard to convince her to come out for track and field and they have been amazed with the results.
Two weeks ago, the 15-year-old ran a 3:13.66 to win the intellectual disability 800 metres and set a Zone 4 record in the process. At last week’s Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association meet, the talented teen won the intellectual disability 100 metres and broke another record with a time of 15.66 seconds.
“She has surprised us,” Collegiate coach Dave Poirier said. “She had never done track before so we had no expectations and she comes out and starts setting records and winning gold medals. It has been a lot of fun.”
Fun is the key component of Cassie’s running career.
“Cassie is an incredibly energetic girl and she is having so much fun,” Poirier said. “The competition is secondary to her enjoying it.”
Cassie likes the entire running experience.
“I get to run and get ribbons and everything,” she said. “There’s no favourite part of it.”
She does admit that she much prefers the 100-metre race compared to 800 metres.
“I don’t like the 800 because it is way too tiring,” she said.
The 100 is the exact opposite.
“It’s quick,” she said. “It is just run and done.”
Next up for Cassie are this week’s South Regionals in Brampton.
“I am going up to Brampton with my two coaches,” she said. “I am hoping to get medals again because I already have two medals.”
In the long term, she wants to take track to another level.
“My mom said she might get me into the Paralympics and I would like that.”
She is not overly concerned about results.
“She likes running and it’s not about winning or losing,” Poirier said. “She is there to run and be around the people on the team and the other people competing. She loves the people she competes against.”
Poirier sees a bright future for Cassie.
“She has a couple more years with us and this is just her raw talent,” he said. “With some training and learning how to do this really well, I can’t imagine where she will go.”
The biggest areas where she can improve upon are learning about pacing and the strategy of racing.
“It comes with time and with experience,” Poirier said.