Track and field wasn’t on Jenna Reid’s radar when she started several years ago, at least not in terms of how far she would go with it.
“No, never. I had the plan of playing hockey – I always thought I would go to university and play hockey, either at StFX or a school close by,” says the 17-year-old Caribou resident, who will graduate from Pictou Academy next spring.
“I never would have thought that track and field would be my passion, and that’d I’d end up going that route.”
Reid recently accepted a scholarship to attend Wofford College, located in the small city of Spartanburg, S.C., about a one-hour drive from Charlotte, N.C.
She will study computer science and business during her first year at the school, which has a student population of around 1,500, and will compete with the NCAA Division 1 Wofford Terriers track and field team.
She visited Wofford a few weeks ago, and despite interest from several other U.S. and Canadian schools, ultimately settled on Wofford College.
“They couldn’t have treated her any better (and) the fact the school is so small is what caught Jenna’s eye,” said her dad Troy, at an informal media conference held Nov. 26 at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
Reid began taking part in track and field when she was a student at Dr. Thomas McCulloch Junior High School and joined Pictou County Athletics in the summer after her Grade 8 year. She started out primarily in the javelin event, but after a couple of years was convinced to try the hammer toss.
“I picked up hammer in the ninth grade,” says Reid, one of several Pictou County athletes up for 2018 Athletics Nova Scotia awards (she recently was nominated in the Youth Female category).
“I struggled with hammer at first but once I got the hang of it, I fell in love with it.”
If hockey was her first love, track and field was the sport that would take her places. She has attended Canadian Legion track and field nationals three times and starting next year, will spend her fall and winters in the southern U.S., devoting most of her athletic life to the javelin and hammer toss, and, all the while avoiding the Canadian winter.
“It’ll definitely be a culture shock. I’m used to the heavy snowfall and it’ll be different not having that around,” she laughs.
Reid signed her letter of intent with Wofford less than two weeks ago, not long after her early-November visit to the school, which has been in existence since 1854.
“It’s a very rural area. It’s a lot like Pictou, in the sense that they’re all very welcoming and very kind. They just made me feel like part of the family,” she said.
“I kind of knew on my plane ride home that that’s where I wanted to be.”