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Basson taking running spikes to Guelph
 

 Basson to run with Guelph Gyphons 

   

   Next chapter for the Parkside C.I. student-athlete will be with reigning

    men's four time National university track and field champions

 

 

  February 8, 2022

 

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By Rob. J. Ross 

ST. THOMAS - Mason Basson has had only one season of high school track and field.

In Grade 9, Basson finished the season at OFSAA 2019, in Guelph, placing fourth in the midget men's 800 metre run and sixth in high jump.

Along the way, the Parkside Collegiate Institute student set school records in high jump (1.75 metres) and the 800 (two minutes, 00.64 seconds, 2:00.64) and 1500-metre runs and meet records in both races (4:18.27 - 1500; 2:05.41 - 800m) for Tri-County, at the Thames Valley Regional championships.

Hopeful for a high school season this spring, Basson will spending the next four years at the University of Guelph starting this September and training with the Gryphons track and field team.

"It feels good. I've mixed emotions," Basson said. "I'm sad because I've missed three years of high school due to COVID, but I'm excited because I get to move forward to a new chapter of my life. Excited and a little bit nervous."

Basson will be majoring in real estate, working towards a Bachelor of Commerce.

"They're the only school that offers a major in real estate in Canada," said Basson.

The reputation of the head coach Terry Radchenko and the Gryphons' program, one of the elite in the country, attracted Basson.

"The biggest thing for me that helped me decide where to go is coach Terry," Basson said. "They also have the best team in Canada. Those two combined are reasons I'm going there."

Basson will be training for the 400, 800 and 1500 metres runs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected three of Basson's four years. Two track and field seasons were cancelled and two cross country season altered.

"My opportunities have been cut off due to COVID," said Basson, and that includes in the classroom. "It's been more challenging then regular years because of the flip-flopping between online and in person. It's really hard to adjust to. Also, we'd learn two classes in one week and then the next week we'd switch and learn two different classes. By the time you switch back to the week before, you've forgotten what you did two weeks ago. I like having four classes in one day and not flip-flopping."

His fourth in the 800 at OFSAA is his personal top highlight as a Stampeder.

Basson qualified in three events for the 2019 provincial meet at regionals, winning the 800, placing second in high jump and finishing third in the 1500-metre run. Basson dropped the 1500, prior to OFSAA to focus on the 800. At TVRA, Basson new marks for Tri-County, in the 800 (2:05.41) and 1500 (4:18.37).

In 2020, Basson was named Parkside's co-junior male athlete of the year.

At the 2019 OFSAA cross country championships, Basson placed 41st in a junior men's race featuring 240 runners. While attending Sparta elementary school, Basson won the open boys' race in Grade eight and the senior boys' race in Grade seven, at the Thames Valley District school board cross country final meet.

Harry Stantsos, head coach with St. Thomas Legion Club, has been coaching Basson since day one.

"He's been a huge influence. He got me into the track world and started up my career as a track athlete," said Basson. "My parents (Jayna and Mike), who support me in everything that I do and all of my friends who cheer me on."

Basson has an older brother, Ryan and the family lives in Sparta.

"The Parkside community is strong and all of the connections I have with the teachers are really great. All of the students know the teachers. I feel welcomed whenever I walk in to the school."

 

 


        rob@hometownplay.ca

 

 



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