Ontario Federation of Schools Athletic Associations, otherwise known as OFSAA, hosts one of the biggest high school track and field meets in North America. There are three rounds of qualification before admittance to the big meet, which takes place on the first weekend of June. Qualifying for, and doing well at the meet is a big goal for many high school athletes. Many of Canada’s best track and road athletes like Justyn Knight and Andre De Grasse began their careers at OFSAA.
Calum Passi is a grade nine student at La Salle Secondary School in Sudbury, Ont. Passi has only been running for a few months, but has already made a big impression on the high school running scene by finishing third at OFSAA cross-country in November of 2017.
Passi is looking to qualify for OFSAA track and field and has a pretty good chance. Passi ran the 800m, 1,500m and 3,000m at his city meet last week and won all three events.
Ten questions with Calum Passi:
What is your favourite part about the sport of track and field? I love the races, and the environment there. I have a lot of fun because of the adrenaline of a race, pushing yourself to your limit, seeing teammates succeed.
What are your running goals for this year? I got injured this winter and my back was acting up so I wasn’t able to train. Because I’m still coming off an injury, I haven’t trained much this spring but I’m still optimistic about what I can do at OFSAA. I’m hoping to qualify for the 1,500m final, and then try to stick with the top guys and work my hardest.
What is your favourite pre-race song? A song called “Alpha”, it’s an instrumental song and the last tune I listen to before starting a race.
What is your ideal post-race treat? McDonald’s for sure. Ideally I would get: a large fry, Oreo McFlurry, ten chicken McNuggets and a smoky BBQ burger.
Who is the coolest running celebrity? It’s a toss-up between Usain Bolt and Mo Farah.
Who is your favourite running buddy? Liam Passi, my older brother. Liam runs for the Laurentian University Voyageurs in Sudbury.
How did you find the sport of track and field? I was inspired by my brother. I always did cross-country and track in elementary school, but my parents encouraged me to keep playing other sports. I only joined Track North (his current track club) in grade nine and two months later was at OFSAA. I train three times a week, and play my other sports the rest of the days of the week.
What is your best track and field memory? This year at OFSAA in the finishing chute – I had no idea I was going to end up in third. I saw my brother and how shocked he was, we couldn’t believe what had just happened. I think a good result is sweetest when it’s unexpected.
What is your favourite piece of running gear? My lucky hat. It’s an orange and pink dry fit running hat that I wore at every cross-country race.
If you could run in any race, what would it be? For sure, the Olympics. It’s the pinnacle of track and field.