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Track champ weighs U.S. scholarship offers

BY TRACEY DUGUAY HeÂ?s faster than the speed of lightÂ?well, not really but Andrew Ellerton could probably give Superman a run for his money if he tried hard enough.
BY TRACEY DUGUAY

HeÂ?s faster than the speed of lightÂ?well, not really but Andrew Ellerton could probably give Superman a run for his money if he tried hard enough.

Ellerton, 18, a recent graduate from Confederation Secondary School in Val Caron, achieved the fastest time among high school students in North America in the 800-metre track event at the Ontario Federation of Secondary SchoolsÂ? Association (OFSAA) competition in Belleville in June.

He completed the gruelling 800-metre raceÂ?where competitors go all-out around an Olympic-size track twiceÂ?in a dazzling 1:49.06 seconds.

HeÂ?s expected to compete in the World JuniorÂ?s track and field championships against the worldÂ?s best track and field athletes under age 19 in Jamaica from July 16-21.

For that to happen, he needs to wait to find out if a Â?couple of guys (one from Manitoba and the other from British Columbia) run faster,Â? and can beat his time. But thatÂ?s doubtful considering his recent record-setting performance.

EllertonÂ?s impressive performance has landed him five different scholarship offers from American colleges and universities. Canada doesnÂ?t offer many scholarships for athletics, says Ellerton.

HeÂ?s narrowed his choices down to Wisconsin or Michigan since they are top schools for track and field.

In typically laid-back teenage fashion, Ellerton says he thinks itÂ?s Â?coolÂ? that he has received so much recognition for his athletics endeavours.

HeÂ?s been profiled on television and in local print media and gets a lot of good-natured ribbing about his Â?celebrity status.Â?

When asked how his parents are feeling about his success, Ellerton says: Â?I think theyÂ?re kinda proud I guess.Â?

His parents are hoping he chooses to go to school in Michigan because itÂ?s not that far away from Windsor, which is where they live now after moving in November. Ellerton decided to stay with his aunt and uncle for the rest of the school year so he could finish high school in Valley East with his friends.

HeÂ?s received a lot of support from Gilbert Briscoe, the athletics director at Confederation, whom he says helps out in any way he can.
All in all, not too bad for a kid who says he just started running Â?seriouslyÂ? last April. He wants to major in business or kinesiology, the study of human movement, when he attends university this fall.