The life of a student athlete can be filled with challenges that regular students don’t always encounter. However, no hurdle — both literal and metaphorical — is too high for Astrid Nyame to jump over.
Nyame finished in first place at the U Sports track and field national championships in Edmonton over the weekend of Mar. 12, 2017. A fifth-year hurdler with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, Nyame came out on top in the 60-metre hurdles, banking a final time of 8.31 seconds in the gold-medal race.
This final victory caps off an outstanding athletic career for Nyame, who finished in second place at last year’s national championships. She adds this gold medal to her CanWest division victory
earlier this year.
Originally from Maidstone, Sask., Nyame stumbled into track and field while still in high school, but had no idea where the sport would take her.
“When I was 17, in grade 11, I came here to Saskatoon with a couple of other people from Maidstone, and we came to the [Royal Canadian] Legion track and field camp,” Nyame said. “We came here [because] it was something fun to do over the summer … so we came here and I did all of the activities and at the end of the [camp], they have a track meet and they selected me to go to Ottawa with the Saskatchewan team. The first thing I did was the heptathlon, so that was seven events over two days. That’s how I first started getting into training as a track and field athlete.”
This year marks Nyame’s final season with the Huskies track and field team. As she completes a degree in regional and urban planning, Nyame reflects upon her time with at the U of S and the various experiences she’s had as a student athlete.
“Being on the Huskies track and field team has really kind of brought me out of my shell. It’s taught me a lot about stepping up as a leader, time management and I just think has also kind of given me a family,” Nyame said.
Although her time at the U of S is coming to an end, her athletic career is not. She intends to take time off between her undergraduate and graduate degrees and continue training in track and field with the hopes of qualifying for future competitions.
Nyame appreciates the opportunity to focus exclusively on her athletics in the near future.
“Things I’m looking forward to … I think I’m looking forward to not having to worry so much about the student portion, since I’m going to be done. I’m excited to just train as an athlete and see if I can have an honest shot at going for something really big in the future,” Nyame said.
Despite a bright future ahead, Nyame can’t help but look back on her Huskies experience with a mixture of nostalgia and fondness. It’s something that’s had an impact on her life, and not something she’ll soon forget.
“It’s definitely bittersweet for sure. I have had an incredible experience with the Huskies, something that I would not trade for the world, but there’s obviously a reason why you get five years. It just wouldn’t be as special if you got all of the years to be a Huskie athlete.”
Emily Klatt / Sports & Health Editor
Photo: Josh Schaefer / Supplied