While Amelia Kristen's high school running career at Crofton House has come to an end, the star hurdler and multi-event athlete has much to look forward to as she will be heading to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, making the switch from competing as a Falcon to a Quaker.
I caught up with Kristen about how she got her start in athletics, her journey to UPenn and what lies ahead in Philadelphia.
2023 BCHS Heptathlon and 400m Hurdles Champion
2023 BCHS 100m Hurdles Silver Medalist
2022 100m Hurdles U18 Legion National Champion
2022 100m Hurdles and 400m Hurdles Club Provincial Champion
Track and field ran in the family, so joining the sport was inevitable for Kristen.
"When I was young, I loved to go out to track meets and watch my older brother compete, so as soon as I was allowed to compete in the third grade, I joined the Thunderbirds track club."
This love for athletics only grew as Kristen got older and made her way through both club and high school track and field, as she was able to gain more experience in both training and competition.
"I've always had a passion for track and field and competed with my school team every year. But in Grade 11, I experienced a shift in mindset where I decided I wanted to take competing to the next level. I started building more strength in the weight room, which really grew my power and speed on the track. I also began hurdle-specific training, which upped my technique and performance. Although my love for track and field was always there, once I made track a higher priority in my life, I began to see more growth in my performances and mental game."
This shift was followed by great success and in 2022, Kristen represented Team BC at Legion Nationals, in Sherbrooke, Quebec. It was here she competed in both the 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay, becoming a National Champion in the 100m hurdles in the process.
"I had never experienced team travel for track before, so the whole experience of staying in dorms and meeting so many amazing athletes was really exciting. I also reconnected with my teammate from JD track, Maya Baechler, who really helped me focus on my goals and has been such a support and inspiration during my recruiting process."
The 2022 season was a breakthrough for Kristen and it allowed her to understand there was so much more she could accomplish within the sport.
"I never really considered competing collegiately until the 2022 club season and I realized that track and field could open a lot of doors for new experience and post-secondary opportunities. I emailed lots of schools through the summer of Grade 11 and when UPenn reached out, I was immediately drawn to the school because of its balance of competitive academics and athletics. After an official visit to the school, I saw the amazing coaching and team culture first hand and immediately knew it was the right fit."