This is a true track family
GISELE WINTON SARVIS/SPECIAL TO THE ENTERPRISE-BULLETIN Rebecca, 18, left, and Naomi Herman, 16, of Collingwood have reached the national and provincial level, respectively, in track and field.
The Herman family of Collingwood is rising in the ranks of Canadian track and field.
Rebecca Herman, 18, won the bronze medal July 7 for shot put at the Athletics Canada’s Senior/Junior Canadian Track and Field Championships in Ottawa with a throw of 13.33 meters.
“It was fun Friday night because there was five or six thousand people there for Andre De Grasse in the 100,” said her father and track coach Ron Herman.
Her event was rained out for over an hour but that didn’t faze Rebecca.
“It was pretty cool. I was sitting in a call tent with Brittany Crew, the Olympian,” she said.
Crew, 23, of Toronto, is the new Canadian record holder for shot put having thrown 18.58 metres in May. She competed for Canada at the Rio Olympics and will compete at the worlds in London in August.
Rebecca was also close to De Grasse.
“I was waiting for my medal when he was running the semi-finals. I was right by the finish line,” she said.
In June, Rebecca won the silver medal at the Ontario Junior Track and Field Championships in Windsor where she threw a personal best of 13.68 metres.
She has been competing through the Legion Youth Track and Field Championships. She won the gold medal for shot put two years ago.
Now her 16-year-old sister Naomi is rising through the Legion Youth ranks, which is supported by Athletics Canada.
Naomi won the gold medal at the Legion District E meet in June in the 1,500 with a personal best time of 4:48.67. That time is lower than the national standard.
This weekend she will be competing in the Legion provincial championships in Windsor in the 800 and 1,500 metre races.
Winners in the provincial event will make Team Ontario and be invited to the Legion Nationals in Brandon, MB Aug. 11 to 13.
Last year, Naomi made the District E team and placed fourth at the provincials in the 800 metre and she still remembers being narrowly edged out of the medals.
Naomi said the 1,500 requires more strategy than the 800.
“I like running longer and holding my pace rather than as fast as I can in a short race,” she said. “I have to go not too slow or I’ll get way behind and not too fast or I will run out of energy and also you don’t want to be caught in the middle of the pack because once I got caught and fell.” In preparation for the weekend’s race, Naomi is doing interval training and watching her diet by eliminating sugar, eating high protein, moderate fat and low carbohydrate.
“I still eat carbs but no sugar now,” she said.
The family will continue to rise in track and field, as there are six children in the family, three boys and three girls, with Rebecca being the oldest.
At the home school meet held in May in Oshawa, all six Herman children medalled.
Naomi said she was uncoordinated when she started but was inspired to train through a previous home school meet.
“There was a girl that was really fast there. She was smoking everybody and I wanted to beat her,” she said.
Their mother Robin schools the Herman children at home. Rebecca will do a “victory lap” at home school in September but there are several Canadian and American universities that are recruiting her for the fall of 2019.
“Rebecca is still thinking through what she wants to do,” said Ron.
Naomi’s goals are to qualify for the Legion Junior Nationals and she would love a scholarship at Liberty University in Virginia because it’s a Division 1 school for athletics and a Christian university.
Naomi’s role model is the 1930s Scottish runner Eric Liddell who was the subject of the Chariots of Fire movie and numerous books.