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Kennedy Campeau headed to university with track scholarship


Local athlete Kennedy Campeau shows off her University of Detroit Mercy sweatshirt and her scholarship confirmation letter.

by Sylene Argent

Recent Essex District High School graduate, Kennedy Campeau, is on the fast track to finding post-secondary success, thanks to years of hard work, dedication, and having listened to her parents’ advice when she was just starting out on her secondary school journey four years ago.

  Having been involved with track and field since the third grade, she was ready to move on to other sports when she started her first year at EDHS, but her mom urged her to stick with it. Now, due to her incredible on-track success, the student athlete is preparing to start her post-secondary education at the University of Detroit Mercy with a scholarship that will cover her tuition, fees, and books, valued at $112,000 US.

  “I did not enjoy track and field the first six of ten years I ran it,” Campeau admitted.e. She knew she had talent in grade school, and that was the motivator that kept her involved with the sport.

  “In grade nine, I was ready to change sports. The lesson here, is to listen to your parents,” she chided.

  “In grade nine, I knew track was my best sport, but didn’t think it was too important to narrow it down. I played hockey, cross-county, where I qualified for OFSAA, and ran track.”

  Campeau did do well in track and field in grade nine, but she did not do was well she hoped. “I Did make it to OFSAA regionals, I was hoping to make finals. So, I knew there was room for improvement,” she said. Looking back at her athletic level in grade nine, Campeau is impressed with the evolution of her improvements over the past few years.

  In grade 10, Campeau played soccer, hockey, cross-county, and ran track. “That’s when I learned to narrow down what I wanted to do. I was doing too much and was starting to develop an injury,” she said. To prevent that injury from getting worse, the young athlete decided to narrow down her sport-repertoire, choosing to stick with track heading into grade 11.

  She also ran cross county in grade 11 to get a jump on training for track season. “I realized where I had potential, but had to put in more work. I was running with people I knew I could be competitive against, but had to up the training,” she recalled.

  Right after the grade 11 track season wrapped up, Campeau began training outdoors with Border City Athletics Club and Coach Kurt Downes for the remainder of the warmer season. She later continued training in doors until the spring, where she began training with EDHS Coach Andy Hahn in preparation for the high school track season.

  “In grade 12, there were a bunch of practice meets where I knew I was stronger than previous years. When it came to [sanctioned] meets, I won gold at WECSSAA in the 400meter dash,” which is her best event.

  Moving forward, Campeau won silver in the 400m at SWOSSAA. At OFSAA West, she placed in the top four in same event to qualify for the all-Ontario event. At OFSAA, which took place at York University in Toronto towards end of the school year, Campeau did not do as well as she hoped in the 400m race, but in the 4x400 open relay, her team did well with an eighth place finish out of 24 relay teams.

  As part of the girls’ open relay team at EDHS, Campeau competed with her little sister, Taylor. “It was probably the most amazing part of high school, handing the baton to my sister,” Campeau commented.

  At that OFSAA competition, three of the 10 EDHS athletes were Campeau siblings. This was the Campeau siblings one chance to make it to OFSAA together.

  Campeau knew she wanted to run Division 1 track in the US because her friend Lucia McElwain, with whom she ran track previously, went that route after high school, with Central Michigan University. Through her friend’s experience, Campeau knew that was what I wanted to do.

  “So, I found a recruiting program which exposed me to university coaches, which is how I got into contact with The University of Detroit Mercy. I needed to run a bit faster, they approached me with a scholarship offer. It was scary, because I went into grade 12 four seconds slower than I came out,” she said, adding making those improvements were challenging mentally and physically. With the potential of a scholarship in the air, however, she pushed herself to get to that next level.

  This spring, Campeau visited the University of Detroit Mercy’s campus and soon after received a scholarship offer.

  Campeau is looking forward to taking the criminal justice program.

  “I want to be a criminal defence lawyer. I always wanted to be interested in science, but was drawn to law,” she said, based on her high school class experience. “I have a knack for writing essays and persuading people, plus I am interested in politics and law.”

  Campeau is excited to start university as she will be able to choose what she wants to study. “I’m excited to meet like-minded people, people who are motivated the same way I am.”

  In mid-August, Campeau is looking to make the move to the university, with off-season training beginning soon after.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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