In terms of his recent sporting achievements, Deric Kornelson has proven to be a runaway success.
Kornelson, 16, a Grade 10 student at Centre scolaire Léo-Rémillard, was recently named the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association Home Run Sports Urban Athlete of the Week for several standout track and field performances.
After a stellar showing at the recent South Central Athletic Conference (SCAC) zone championship, the runner placed first in the 3,000-metre and also picked up silver medals in the 800-metre and 1,500-metre events.
Then, at the Manitoba High School’s Athletic Association’s (MHSAA) Milk Provincial High School Provincial Track and Field Championships held earlier this month at the Pan Am Stadium at the University of Manitoba, Kornelson won gold in both the 1,500-metre and 3,000-metre events and was third in the 800-metre. All events were in the junior varsity age category.
"I’m really honoured to have accomplished such achievements, as I’ve worked very hard and the hard work has paid off," said Kornelson, who lives in south St. Vital.
The teen said the 1,500-metre is his favourite distance — "it’s the perfect length for me" — and disclosed that one of the secrets of balancing his schoolwork and sporting pursuits is focus.
"The big picture is that you want to make time for everything. But to get things done, you have to focus on each thing individually. If I’ve got a school project, I’ll focus on that first. If I’ve got a track event, then I’ll focus on that first."
And not to be labelled a one sport man, Kornelson said his love of playing hockey in the winter and ball hockey in the spring have helped him on the running track — and vice versa.
"I feel my running helps my hockey because it increases my speed and my hockey helps me on the track in terms of my endurance and increasing my awareness of other athletes around me," he said.
Noting her son only started running two years ago, Kornelson’s mom, Ginette Desrosiers, 44, said her son deserves the recent accolades because of his self-motivation and work ethic.
"We’re very proud of him. He’s so hardworking and motivated. He’s doing totally what he wants and he’s very athletic and a lot of passion. He’s a really great kid," she said.
Kornelson’s coach, Andy Strong, said the teen’s enthusiasm and application are key components of his success and progress to date and he expects him to continue to develop both his mental and physical attributes.
"Deric has a contagious positive attitude and tenacity in his racing. His positive attitude and support of his training partners makes him one of the most likeable athletes on our team," Strong said.
"Deric continues to grow as an athlete, and as a student of the sport. His development continues to skyrocket with his hard work and determination. Deric is a pleasure to coach and I look forward to his continued development as an athlete and growth as a fine young man."