AtlanticU23 #041 - Kiersten Hicks (New Brunswick)
Posted 2 weeks ago
AtlanticU23 #041 – Kiersten Hicks (New Brunswick)
Hometown: Dalhousie, NB
Birth Year: 2004 (U16 age class)
Club: Athlétisme Sud-Est / South-East Athletics
Coach: Peter Stuart
Personal Bests (as of September 2nd, 2019): High Jumps: 1.59m
5 quick questions with Kiersten:
Favourite fruit? Pineapple
Dairy Queen or Burger King? Dairy Queen
What is a TV show you find annoying? Any kind of wrestling show
Would you rather be able to turn invisible or read minds? Turn invisible
If you could have an endless supply of any food, which would you choose? Steak
How did you first get involved in track and field?
I first got involved in the sport when I was in elementary school. A local coach started a small group to help kids get ready for Jeux de l'Acadie.
Throughout your early years in the sport, you participated in events ranging from sprints to mid-distance, cross country, and even throws, but in 2017 instantly showed promising results in your first time high jumping. What first sparked your interest in the high jump?
A local athlete had won at Jeux de l'Acadie and I thought since I was tall and flexible I might be good at it. My first time jumping in competition I hit the bar at 1.10m and I said to myself, I’m never doing this again. But my mom convinced me to try again and since then I’ve kept going.
Born and raised a francophone in North New Brunswick, you have represented Team Restigouche at the Jeux de l'Acadie for the past three consecutive years, and have captured gold in the high jump on each occasion. Tell us about your experience growing up as a francophone athlete in North New Brusnwick, and competing at the Jeux de l'Acadie.
Making the Restigouche team and going to Jeux de l'Acadie is a very big deal in my community. Jeux de lacadie was always one of my favourite competitions and I always looked forward to it. The atmosphere is very different than any other competition I’ve been to and without Jeux de l'Acadie I most likely would not be high jumping today.
Representing École Aux Quatre Vents at your first New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association (NBIAA) Track and Field Championships this year, you and competitor Sara Grant of Tantramar Regional High School tied at 1.55m to break the Championship record, with yourself capturing gold on countback. How did it feel to win gold and break the Championship record in your first time competing at these championships?
It came a bit by surprise because the goal was to win gold and have fun of course. Yes, in the back of my head I knew there was a possibility to break the record, but it wasn’t my main focus at the time.
At the 2018 Canadian Legion Track & Field Championships, you got your first taste of national stage, placing 11thin the U16 girl’s high jump. Take us through your first national experience. How did this event prepare you for bigger and better performances in the following year?
Making the team for nationals last year was pretty unexpected. I had gone to the provincial championships for more experience and ended up placing 2nd with a personal best and meeting standard to qualify. Going to nationals my first year helped me know what it is like to compete at a higher level and it took away some of the stress of competing this year because I knew what was happening.
At this year’s Legion Championships, you jumped 1.55m to win bronze in the U16 girl’s high jump. Take us through the high jump competition – what were you feeling as you continuously cleared heights that your competitors could not keep up with?
My coach and I had discussed about the importance of getting the jump on my first try, so I knew that was one of the goals. Each time it was my turn to jump I kept this in mind. Clearing on the first try definitely gave me a lot more confidence as the heights got higher because I could see some of the other girls starting to struggle.
Heading into this year’s Legion Championships, did you know that capturing a medal was a possibility for you – was a medal on your mind?
Not really, my goal was a top 10 finish and a PB. My family and my coaches (past and present) had an idea that a podium finish was definitely a possibility, but looking back I am really happy with my medal, but a PB would’ve been nice.
Despite residing in Dalhousie, you train and compete as a member of Moncton-based Athlétisme Sud-Est / South-East Athletics. Considering the three hour driving distance between these two locations, how often are you able to attend practices?
I usually get to practice with the team about once or twice a month.
When you are able to attend ASEA practices in Moncton, what is the typical structure of your workouts?
Since at home I have no access to a high jump pit, whenever I get down to Moncton we spend pretty much the whole time at the pit working on my approach, clearance, and a few other things.
How about other practices – what do you do for general and sport-specific training while in your hometown?
Peter usually sends us workouts that we try to incorporate in-between other activities. I usually get to do two workouts a week by going to the high school gym with my parents. These workouts are usually focused on my approach and speed.
Entering the U18 age category next year, what are some of your hopes, goals, and expectations as you move up to this more competitive category?
I know it will be a lot harder so I plan to work more, become stronger and faster, and would like to be jumping 1.60m or higher consistently.
Aside from running, what are some of your other hobbies?
If I’m not working or studying, I like to play soccer, badminton, dance, and I like spending time with friends.
Hosted by New Brunswick-born track runner, administrator, and coach Brandon Scott LeBlanc, AtlanticU23 is an interview series with upcoming Atlantic Canada track and field athletes under the age of 23.