Breckels claims spot on wall
Fenway Breckels was a winner for the first time Wednesday at the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association track and field meet at Welland Centennial.
After winning bronze medals in the 1,500 and 3,000 metres at last year’s SOSSA meet, the Grade 11 student at Governor Simcoe won the open boys 2,000-metre steeplechase by 1.4 seconds.
“It feels pretty cool,” the 16-year-old St. Catharines resident said. “We have this wall at the school of all the SOSSA and OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) champions and it is great that I get to have my picture up there.”
The chance to be on the wall was on Breckels’ mind before the race.
“I will able to see it every day when I walk by it in the hall.”
The Thorold Elite Track Club runner is in his first year of competing in the steeplechase and Wednesday represented his fourth attempt at the event.
“I wanted to try it this year and I have been doing pretty good so I think I will continue doing it.”
He was attracted to the event by its main feature.
“The water jump looked like it would be fun so I thought I would give it a try. And I play other sports so I was hoping the athleticism would help me get over the barriers. I think it has.”
He knows there is room for improvement.
“I still have to work on my form going over the hurdles but it is getting there.”
Since starting in the event, he has shaved 16 seconds off his time. His first race was 6:44 and he ran 6:28 Wednesday.
Breckels has a target in mind for the steeplechase season.
“My teammate last year, Owen Munnings, ran 6:16 at OFSAA and I want to run 6:15 so I can beat him and say that I have the fastest time in the club.”
Breckels looked frozen once the race was over.
“During the race with all the adrenaline I didn’t feel it but now I am pretty cold after it is done.”
He placed eighth in the 1,500 metres and ninth in the 3,000 metres last year at OFSAA and will compete in the 3,000 metres at SOSSA on Thursday.
Breckels started in track and field in Grade 3 and in the summer of Grade 8 he was approached by Thorold Elite Track Club coach Steven Fife to run at the club level.
“I love the atmosphere, all the people and stuff and being able to push myself and get good results out of it.”