Crossley runner a quick study
Jackson Sider is a diamond in the rough.
The 14-year-old, Grade 9 student at E.L. Crossley is in his first season of competition in track and field and is already achieving success.
Sider easily won the novice boys 800-metre race Thursday at the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (SOSSA) track and field meet at Centennial. He also placed third in the novice boys 1,500 Wednesday and was part of Crossley’s winning 4 x 400-metre relay Thursday.
“He doesn’t have the experience in track but he’s catching up really fast,” Niagara Olympic Club coach Sharon Stewart said. “He’s a very smart runner who is very, very dedicated to his training and he has excellent workouts.
“He really has a lot of guts in his races.”
Sider got involved in running last fall after his rep soccer team in Pelham folded.
“I wanted to keep doing something so I decided to run and I liked it,” Sider said. “It’s what I thought it would be. I like it a lot.”
Sider joined Crossley’s cross-country team and had immediate success, placing 16th at OFSAA.
That success gave Sider the impetus to join NOC.
“I did pretty well so I thought I wanted to keep running so I joined NOC,” he said. “It definitely helps. Before I was running like four times a week and now I’m running five or six times with proper workouts.”
Sider, who feels the 800 is his best event, says he still has work to do.
“I want to lower my time. I ran 2:15 today and I think I need to get it quite a but lower to move on further but it helps having someone in front of you to chase down,” he said. “My goal is to get to OFSAA.”
Stewart feels the sky is the limit for Sider, who she said just needs more seasoning.
“The experience comes with a few seasons of track. He’s got a great start now in Grade 9,” Stewart said.
The top five athletes from the SOSSA track and field meet advance to the South Regionals next Thursday and Friday at Welland Centennial. The first OFSAA track and field championships in three years are scheduled for June 2-4 at the Toronto Track and Field Centre at York University.
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