Top athlete played only 5 sports

North Toronto CI’s Madeleine Cummings has a new award to add to her trophy case: Town Crier Athlete of the Year.

The delightful 18-year-old excels in three sports, is editor of the student newspaper and is on the honour roll.

In spite of her hectic schedule, she says she wouldn’t change a thing. It allows her to spend time on her favourite pursuits: journalism and athletics.

“I was very surprised,” she said after receiving the award. “I heard all of my sports being read out and I knew it was me.

“I was shocked and honoured at the same time,” she added after the Town Crier’s 23rd annual athletic banquet at EDO sushi restaurant June 16.

While some may balk at her demanding timetable, she has pared it down. She played five sports — including rugby and snowboarding, along with her main focuses of track and field, cross-country and field hockey — throughout her four years of high school.

“To me, being busy (pushes) my drive to succeed up,” she said. “That doesn’t work for everyone. Picking something to focus on helps.”

One of her favourite moments was winning bronze in the 1,500-metre steeplechase competition on June 5 at OFSAA.

“Around each corner of the track is a giant hurdle and every 400 metres is a slanted water pit,” she said. “So you jump as far as you can to land in the shallowest part.”

In the preliminary round of the event, she placed fifth, but she buckled down and improved her time to win a medal. In fact, she completed the race in 5:03.66, just half a second behind the silver medallist.

Her athletic career hasn’t always been fun, though. In grade 10, she competed in a cross-country event in Thunder Bay and finished in ninth place. While the school board flew the students up for the competition, the teens had to endure a 21-hour bus ride back to Toronto.

Besides athletics, Cummings enjoys writing, public speaking and reading, so anything that combines all of that is right on track.

Being the editor of her school newspaper, she would like to pursue a career as a journalist or author, or maybe a lawyer, she said.

She plans to study arts at McGill University this fall.

About this article:

By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: Jul 21 2009 11:45 am
Filed in: Sports
Edition: Toronto