Alanzo Clarke is interested in every aspect of competing in the provincial championships.
Everything, that is, except how fast his opponents have been running.
When it comes to information like that, ignorance is bliss for the White Pines collegiate speedster.
Fresh from victories in the senior boys 100 metres and 200 m at last week’s Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (NOSSA) track and field championships in Sudbury, Clarke is busy preparing himself for Thursday’s start of the three-day, Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) meet in Toronto.
In Sudbury, Clarke ran the 100 m in 10.94 seconds and the 200 m in :22.14.
Last year at OFSAA, the 100- m champ ran a :10.51. Clarke was eighth in :11.17.
The first-place finisher in the 200 m clocked in at :21.90 while Clarke failed to qualify for the finals, finishing 10th in preliminaries (:22.94).
“I never check the times of the people I’m running against at OFSAA,” said Clarke, the three-time city senior champion in both races. “That’s because if they’re faster than me it could hurt my confidence. This way, I go in not knowing their times and I remain confident.”
The 19-year-old said he was pleased with his start in the 100 m at NOSSA, but felt his start could have been better in the 200 m. Still, both of his times pleased him especially his 200 m.
Clarke, whose goal at OFSAA is a top four or top five finish at both distances, is hoping to get over what he anticipates is simply a minor right-hamstring injury.
His hamstring “cramped up” during the NOSSA 4-by-100-m relay, in which the Wolverines finished third. Clarke said he plans to seek treatment this week from local chiropractor Rod Myers.
“Right now I’m really pumped for OFSAA,” Clarke said. “It’s the best thing that can happen to you. You’re with the best athletes in the province and that makes you feel amazing. We all try so hard to get there and I’m really excited.”