Local track and field star, Cohen Musschoot, was recognized for his outstanding achievements at the Alberta Athletics Awards ceremony held via Zoom on July 25.
The event recognizes the top athletes who competed at the 2019 Athletics Alberta Provincial Track & Field Championships, held in Edmonton on June 29 and 30 of last year.
Musschoot has been running with Passtrak, a track and field club based out of Crowsnest Pass, for over two seasons. The young athlete is recognized by his coach, Ritch Braun, as exceptionally committed for his age.
“He is laser focused,” said Braun. “In that particular characteristic he is well beyond his years. He’s more focused than some of my 16 or 17 year old athletes.”
At the virtual awards ceremony, Musschoot received a Top 10 award for the U12 age category. The distinction was based off points scored at the provincial meet, where participants in Musschoot’s age category were required to compete in sprint, long distance, throwing and jumping events.
Scoring an impressive overall 80 points in his six events, Musschoot’s overall performance at provincials ranked him as third in Alberta in his age category for the 2019 season.
Among provincial achievements, Musschoot placed eighth in the 100 metre dash, with a time of 14.89 seconds. He also placed fourth in long jump, garnering a life time best score of 3.80 metres and holding a new Passtrak club record for his age group. In his third event, the young athlete placed second in the 800 metre race, also attaining a life time best and Passtrak club record, with a time of 2:39.51.
In the event’s second day, Musschoot placed fifth in the 200 metre race with a time of 30.51 seconds, another life time best score and new Passtrak club record. He also placed first in the shot put event, and second in the 600 metre race with a time of 1:51.99, a final lifetime best and new Passtrak club record.
In addition to his achievements at provincials, Musschoot received first in the 2019 Calgary Indoor Track Series, which consists of three track meets with at least three events at each meet.
“I am proud of Cohen’s determination and discipline to continually improve his performance,” said Musschoot’s dad, Jared Musschoot. “I am thankful that there is a program in our region that enables youth to achieve their potential with coach Ritch Braun and coach Andrew Bailey with the Passtrak Club. I am excited and hopeful to see a program that coach Rachel Romero builds at Fernie Secondary School in the future.”
Though the pandemic cancelled all summer races and championships, Braun gave his athletes individual at home training programs to keep them fit throughout isolation. Given Musschoot’s determination and ability, Braun confidently placed him on a program designed for older, more developed athletes, requiring him to train five days per week.
Alongside his commitment to Passtrak, Musschoot was also named Male Athlete of the Year in his final year of elementary school at École Isabella Dicken Elementary School (EIDES). Having excelled in EIDES’s basketball, volleyball and soccer teams, the young athlete looks forward to progressing in athletics as he ventures into high school.