Two teams of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies are welcoming one of the most sought-after young runners in North America next season.
Currently in her senior year of high school, Avery Pearson is already setting an impressive record. She claimed silver in the 400m dash at the 2019 Legion National U18 Championships and won gold with her team in the 4x400m relay, both with impressive times. She also placed fourth in the U18 Canadian Cross Country Championships.
But her gold-medal win in the 800m at the 2019 Legion National U18 Championships was the most memorable moment of her athletic career by far, and one of her times breaking provincial records.
“That was one of my first big track meets,” Pearson said. “I don’t get very many opportunities to race so that just made me really hungry to see my potential, and to keep working towards goals like that and bigger meets.”
Pearson is the first student athlete recruited for the 2021-22 class of both the U of S Huskies track and field and cross country teams. The Huskies cross country program, which recently won third place at the Canada West championships and seventh at the U SPORTS national championships, is excited to have Pearson join the team.
“When I shared the news with our current team and staff, it was like they all got a birthday present,” said Jason Reindl, coach of the cross country team in a Huskies news release. “Everyone knows who Avery is, her athletic achievements, and how focused we have been on trying to garner her commitment.”
“Our entire team is focused on team success and they are all extremely excited to have Avery joining them as a teammate,” Reindl said.
Pearson says that she is also excited to be part of the team. Joining the accomplished Huskies athletes will provide her opportunities beyond athletic success, such as building strong relationships.
“Where I live, I’m not actually part of a track club,” Pearson said. “I am always training on my own, and I’m so excited to finally have a team, have teammates and people to work out with and train with and work really hard with and learn from.”
The University of Saskatchewan is not the only institution that offered a position to the new member of the Huskies team. According to Huskie Athletics, Pearson was offered prestigious scholarships across North America before settling on the U of S, due to its reputation as a respected institution and its closeness to home for the Meadow Lake athlete.
As a student athlete looking to major in kinesiology, Pearson already has some goals in mind for her university career and she says that being able to prioritize running while understanding the importance of school will be vital in accomplishing these goals in the future.
Although the Canada West Cross Country Championships have been cancelled this year, Pearson is ready to join the Huskies and contribute to their success.
“I want to listen to my teammates and hear what their goals are too, as a team, and how I can incorporate myself into those,” Pearson said.
“If we want to win the Canada West games again … then I want to put my foot forward and help with that.”
Fiza Baloch | Staff Writer
Photo: Supplied | Avery Pearson