Villanova has had its share of Canadian talent come through the program -- think Carmen Douma, Ryan Hayden, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Bouma, Allan Brett, and current team member Rob Denault -- but perhaps the most lauded of them all has been Newmarket, Ontario's Sheila Reid. Here is an article in which Reid reminisces about her days as a Canadian prep. The article is written by former Columbia standout Liam Boylan-Pett, writing for Running Times.
Throwback Thursday: Sheila Reid
The Canadian standout explains why getting to college was easier after the club experience north of the border.
October 24, 2013
October 24, 2013
Who: Sheila Reid
High School: Sacred Heart Catholic High School, Newmarket, Ontario, Class of 2007
Club Team: Newmarket Huskies
HS Personal Bests:
3,000m: 10:07 (indoors)
5,000m XC: 17:04
Current Personal Bests:
Sheila Reid hails from Canada, where for teenagers, club teams are the main focus of competition. She ran for the Newmarket Huskies and also for her high school, Sacred Heart in Newmarket, Ontario, about 30 miles north of Toronto. Reid was captain of her high school team.
One day, she thought it was a good idea to cut through the school and wait around a corner to goof off instead of going for the coach’s prescribed run. There was only one problem with Reid’s plan: “Coach beat us to the punch and was waiting for us when we came through the other side of the school,” she says. “We got reamed out pretty good.”
We may not follow Reid on a short cut, but we will let her take Running Times HS where it has never been before: north of the border. After a storied career at Villanova, Reid now runs for Nike. She spoke with Running Times about her high school days in Canada, which weren’t that much different than a U.S. high schooler’s.
Most Memorable Race:
Ontario splits high school racers up into age groups. If you’re in grade 9, you’re a midget; grade 10, you’re a junior; and grades 11 and 12, you’re a senior. In grade 11, racing with the seniors for the first time, Reid faced the toughest competition she had ever seen at the Provincial OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) high school cross country meet. She took second place in 17:04 for 5K. “It’s the only time I’ve ever been happy for a second-place finish,” Reid says. It also gave her some confidence. “After that, I went on to qualify for the junior national team for Canada for the first time,” she says.
Reid ran only about 45 kilometers (about 28 miles) per week and did her easy days with her high school’s team, which wasn’t nearly as serious as the club. Says Reid: “We’d run super slow and goof off a lot.”
But that’s because the ridiculous workouts she did twice per week with the club would have worn her down. They’d start the workout with a 20-minute tempo run. Then they’d follow that up with five or six quality intervals of varying lengths on a loop around a grass field. Finally, they would run up and down the hills of the abandoned ski hill where they trained. After all of that? “I was on my ass,” says Reid, laughing at how exhausted she would be. “I remember getting to college and thinking it was a piece of cake.”
Reid also played soccer and tennis and she had one of the most professional-sounding titles ever: public relations officer. But it wasn’t all it was made out to be. “I basically just said the morning announcements and I wasn’t very good at it,” she says.
Least Favorite Song:
“It’s called Banana Phone. It’s the most irritating song you’ll ever hear. There are maybe about eight words top in the song and maybe seven of them are just the word ‘ring.’ I remember that for like a month they’d play it on morning announcements as our song to get to class and they were basically holding the school hostage until we’d donate enough money for some charity. It pretty much ruined everyone’s life for a month.”
In case she forgot, here’s “Banana Phone” as performed by Raffi.
A Loving Mother Who Packed Lunches:
Reid wasn’t much for the cafeteria. “My mom was awesome and she packed me a lunch every day and I totally didn’t appreciate her enough for it,” she says. Not that she didn’t want some of the perks of the cafeteria: “Sometimes I’d eat other people’s fries, but people hate mooches, so I avoided that at all costs.”
Advice to High School Runners:
“Have fun with high school. I think it’s great to do a variety of activities. Don’t commit yourself to just running. Especially now that running is my job, I’m certainly glad that I was well-rounded in high school and tried a lot of things and had a lot of friends outside of the sport. Do as many things as you can now because it will become a bigger commitment as you go along through college and post collegiately for sure.”