BY: KELVIN GAWLEY, ABBOTSFORD NEWS
Cole Barker, a Grade 12 W.J. Mouat student and athlete, had the opportunity to choose from several different Lower Mainland universities but chose to sign with Trinity Western University (TWU) and continue a relationship with the coaching staff which began years ago.
Barker, who will begin studying kinesiology and sociology in the fall, signed a scholarship with TWU on Friday to run track events for the school. His two main events are the 100 and 200 metre sprints but he said Kim Chapdelaine, the program’s assistant coach, has already begun encouraging him to try jumping events as well.
Barker was 13 when he first met Chapdelaine, who trained him and other members of Mouat’s football team as part of a partnership between the high school and the university.
Barker was a wide receiver on the Hawks football team but said his true passion is running track.
He captured a provincial bronze medal at last year’s provincials as a part of Mouat’s 4 X 400 metres team.
“I’m super excited because I’ve always wanted to take track and field,” he said.
Chapdelaine said she knew Barker had the ability to be an “excellent track athlete” and she was eager to have him aboard, once she heard that was the direction he wanted to go.
“He was testing exceedingly well in the sprints,” she said. “I heard he was more interested in getting a scholarship in track than in football, so I jumped at the chance because he is a very talented athlete. He will be a great addition to our team.”