Avery Pearson is ready to take on the world.

The recent Carpenter High School graduate recently secured a spot at the 2021 World Athletics U20 Championships, an international competition scheduled for Aug. 17-22 in Nairobi, Kenya.

“I’m leaving Aug. 9 and will be back Aug. 24,” Pearson said. “Here in Canada, you need to achieve a certain standard in order to qualify for this event and be part of Team Canada. In the 800-metre, I met the Canadian standard. I was the only Canadian girl to achieve this at 2:07.20.”

Pearson qualified for the Nairobi event earlier this summer after a strong showing at a track meet in Alberta.

“My previous race times did not meet the standard, but on July 25 I competed at a track meet in Calgary – that’s where I met the standard,” she said. “Throughout the pandemic (during which school sports were cancelled), I focused on staying motivated on staying active any way I could. I didn’t focus too much on the running aspect, but come March I started to get back into running. I trained by myself or with my dad (Daryl Pearson). Soon, a few track meet opportunities came up, I kept training, and it all worked out. I’m used to training on my own, so COVID-19 didn’t affect me too much, and we are fortunate to have a track right here in Meadow Lake which I can use. Staying motivated on the bigger picture is what mattered most – there were no track meets then, but I knew there would be again one day.”

When Pearson departs for Nairobi next week, she will be accompanied by her fellow Team Canada athletes.

“It’s a 15-athlete team, along with a group of coaches and team leaders,” she noted. “I’m so excited for this experience, travelling to a new continent, but also wanting to go there and compete at my very best. I don’t know if I will earn a medal, but I really want to go there, work very hard and see what happens.”

This fall, Pearson will attend the U of S where she plans to start training with the university’s cross-country team.

by Phil Ambroziak