After coming in fourth at the World Para Athletics Championship in the T13 Men’s 100 m, Austin Ingram was heralded a hero in Petawawa. Councillor Gary Serviss, Mayor Bob Sweet, Ingram and his coach Julie Crouzat celebrate the 17-year-old’s success during the Dec. 2 council meeting. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
He was given a special certificate by Mayor Sweet, and his friend and running peer Sean Doughty (right) was there to support him. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Austin Ingram comes in fourth in Para World Athletics, sets new Canadian record
By Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday December 19, 2019
Athlete Austin Ingram continues to bring pride to his hometown of Petawawa.
He came fourth in the men’s T13 100 m at the World Para Athletics Championship, held in Dubai from Nov. 7 to 15. He came in at 10.99, less than a hundredth of a second from making podium. His time has set a national record in the men’s T13 100 m category.
But this isn’t his only achievement.
Despite having limited vision, he has been making waves in the running community. At just 17-years-old, he is on his way to the big leagues, having been identified as an “up-and-comer” by the Talent Confirmation program of Athletics Canada.
Since beginning the sport in Grade 8, he has been breaking records sprinting. He has won gold twice at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations’ (OFSAA) provincial championships, establishing a record of 11.03, which he then beat on the world stage.
Before heading to Dubai, the Valour JK-12 School student competed in Arizona and Switzerland, where he also had incredible timings.
He credits his coach Julie Crouzat for much of his success. Under her mentorship, he has been training year-round and achieving heights he never could have imagined.
Yet it isn’t just his athletics skills that distinguish him from others. Ingram brings positivity to all those around him.
“He never fails to encourage others and push them to their greatest potential,” said Sean Doughty, friend and fellow member of Les Coureur des Bois running club. “He is a great guy, always on his grind, pushing himself to be the fastest that he can be.”
Doughty described Ingram as a regular guy with outstanding talent, a man who is not only fast but smart, caring and kind. He is encouraging to all and uses his talent to encourage and push others to achieve their own goals.
“I can’t wait to see what he becomes in the future,” he said. “Wherever he goes, I know he will go far.”
Ingram received a hero’s welcome from his school when they held a celebration in his honour on Nov. 19. The Town of Petawawa also marked the teen’s incredible achievements by presenting him with a certificate during their council meeting on Dec. 2.
The support has meant a lot to him.
“I’ve always said from the time I was a very young child to the time now that I am 17-years-old, that I never want to leave this town,” said Ingram.
“This last month in my life, in particular, has proven to me why in particular that I want to stay in Petawawa and the joy and hospitality of Renfrew County,” he added, noting the support has been incredible.
As a young person in a hotel room in Dubai after a 14-hour flight, receiving so many letters, emails and messages from a legion of supporters gave him the energy to compete.
“There are certain things that definitely brighten your mood and definitely give you a sense of home,” said Ingram. “The support from everybody here is definitely the top of that list.”
He hopes the next time he receives such accolades, he does it while wearing a medal around his neck.
Ingram’s eventual goal is to make it to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, followed by Paris in 2024.
In Para-athletics, an athletes’ physical limitations put them in a certain category. T13 means that the athlete has limited vision.