TRURO, N.S. – Maddie Quinn will take her talents south of the border, beginning next fall.
Quinn, 18, will attend Belmont University (NCAA, Division 1) in Nashville, Tenn., where she will pursue a degree in nursing and throw javelin for the Bruins track and field team.
The Bible Hill resident visited the school on Nov. 25 and soon realized it was the place for her.
“It really felt like home,” she said. “Everybody was super nice.”
Quinn, a Grade 12 student at CEC, has been a star javelin thrower since her early teens. She has attended multiple high school, provincial and Canadian events with great success, including podium finishes at four straight national competitions.
“She’s come a long way, but I think she’s got some huge potential left and I’m excited to see what she can do when she’s competing at the Division 1 level in the states with some of the best throwers in North America and around the world,” said Iain LaPointe, who has coached Quinn for the past six years.
Quinn, who will attend Belmont on an athletic scholarship ($35,000 per year for four years), said the university puts a lot of time and effort into developing athletes. She said she was sold on the school after meeting the team’s strength and conditioning co-ordinator and throws coach Joe Fry.
“He was totally friendly, he was very respectful, he asked all kinds of questions about Canada … and once we got into the weight room and I saw him in his coaching mode, he was very serious about it, he took it very serious and he just wants the best for his athletes.”
Fry said he was impressed by Quinn from the start and knew she’d be a great addition to the Belmont track and field team.
“From the moment I met her in person, I was like, ‘Alright, this is a really special person.’ She’s very easy to talk to, very engaged in the conversation.
“I think she’ll bring a level of down-to-earthness to our squad. We have people from all over – from Alaska, Sweden, from California, from Georgia – and she’s going to be a really cool colour to add to that mix of people that I have on my squad, so I think she’s going to complement the culture really well.”
Quinn played high-level hockey growing up and was a member of last year’s Atlantic female midget AAA champion Northern Subway Selects. Now, with her focus shifting strictly to track and field, LaPointe said the sky’s the limit for the young thrower.
“There’s just so much potential there; it’s just very exciting,” he said.
Quinn expects she’ll be homesick at times in the Music City, but is looking forward to the independence college life offers and the chance to make new friends while doing something she loves.
“It’s really going to be hard not going home every day to see my parents, my little brother, being an hour away from my grandparents, who just love me to death; I think that will be hard. But I’m pretty social so I’m sure I’ll make some friends down there.”
And being a hockey fan, you can bet Quinn will make her way to Bridgestone Arena to watch the NHL’s Predators. Nashville is known as a hockey-crazed town where game experiences are like no other.
“I’m really excited to go to the games,” she said. “Just even seeing the arena and football stadium for the Titans, I just got jitters. I was just super excited to be around that because I know football’s such a big sport down there, but for them to have a hockey team for me to go watch is just like being at home.”