Wilson breaks Ahmed’s record
Rian Wilson was in record-setting form Thursday.
The 15-year-old, Grade 10 student at Sir Winston Churchill turned more than a few heads at the Niagara District School Board zone 4 track and field meet at Centennial in Welland, setting a record in the junior boys 3,000-metre race.
Wilson’s time of 8:54.78 blew away the old mark of 9:15 set by Canadian Olympian and former St. Catharines Collegiate student Mo Ahmed.
“I pretty much knew Mo Ahmed’s record was 9:15 and I ran 9:18 about a week ago so I thought it was in reach,” said Wilson, who trains with Runners’ Edge. “I thought I could go maybe 9:14. I was worried because I didn’t think I could add to that record but I went out and had my friend Matteo (Tonnos of Eden) pushing me.
“Because I’ve been so close to it before, I thought if I just push an extra four seconds off that would be nuts.”
Wilson said he felt the pace of the race was too quick early on.
“I know I was on pace to break nine minutes which was crazy,” he said. “I thought we were going out too fast but then when I was being pushed, I just couldn’t let him (Tonnos) beat me. He beat me a week ago so I thought I would try and win the race and ended up with a really fast last lap.”
The zone meet was Wilson’s first high school event after the COVID pandemic wiped out last season.
“I missed out on my whole Grade 9 season so it was about a year-and-a-half of no training,” Wilson said.
With a record already in his back pocket, Wilson has set his sights high for the rest of the high school season.
“One of my goals this year is to win OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) for the junior boys 3,000 but my main goal is to go to Stanford (on a running scholarship),” he said.
Wilson began training for triathlons in Grade 4 and by the time he was entering high school, he switched to track and cross-country.
“There is no triathlon (event) in university so I thought I might as well commit to one sport,” he said.
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