Personal best time for Shirk bodes well
by Randy Pascal
Lasalle Secondary sprinter Brandon Shirk will enter the 2012 OFSAA Track & Field Championships on a high.
The talented multi-sport athlete, finishing his final year of secondary school studies, captured gold in both the 200m and 400m events at the NOSSA
Championships last week in Sault Ste Marie.
Yet it was a notable personal best time in the 200m, in a race where things did not appear to be falling into place, that caught the attention of
local track observers.
"I didn't even feel like I was running my best," Shirk noted at practice this week. "It's not the greatest track (in the Soo), going from this (L.U.)
especially. At the start of the race, I was just hoping to win and go to OFSAA."
"I was kind of nervous going around the corner - it didn't feel like my spikes were going in," Shirk added. "I came off the corner and noticed that I
was pulling ahead, so I kept pushing for a decent time."
"I ran through the line and looked at my time afterwards - I was surprised," Shirk said. Indeed. The clocking of 22.29 seconds represented a significant
leap forward for the young man who finished 10th at OFSAA one year ago, completing the 200m dash in 22.68 seconds.
Winning with ease at the city championships a few weeks back, Shirk ran away from the field in 22.73, generally well within his comfort zone at this distance. Still,
even as he prepares to tackle the post-secondary track & field ranks next year, Shirk insists that this isn't really his event.
"The 400m and the 800m are more of my races, but I haven't had a full year of training." Always a key member of the Lancers basketball team during his
time at Lasalle, Shirk expects to focus his athletic efforts entirely on the track scene in the years to come.
The OFSAA competition for Shirk and the remainder of the Sudbury crew kicks off Thursday afternoon in Brockville, with the 400m heats scheduled to take
to the track right after the steeplechase races.