Coming off her best indoor season, sprinter Khamica Bingham is a contender for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Athlete of the Year honour.
The teenager is among eight nominees for the Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG)-sponsored award.
Bingham transferred from the University of Toronto to York University last January and is majoring in communications.
“Honestly, it means the world to me to be nominated for this award,” she said. “It’s always rewarding when someone takes the time to acknowledge your hard work and accomplishments.”
Last year as a freshman at the University of Toronto where she was enrolled in the Humanities program, Bingham captured the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and CIS 60-metre titles in a personal best 7.41 secs. and 7.47 secs. respectively and was a member of the OUA and CIS winning 4×200-metre relay teams.
Bingham, who competed in gymnastics for five years before quitting at age 14 to concentrate on sprinting, was a stellar performer indoors this season. She opened up with a personal best 7.34 secs. in the 60-metre dash at the McGill meet last January and trimmed 0.06 secs. off that time a few weeks later at the OUA indoor track and field meet.
“Since I ran really close to the IAAF World Indoor Championship standard (7.22), I was aiming to hit the mark at the OUA championships since February 22 was the deadline,” said Bingham. “I had mixed emotions when I ran another personal best of 7.23, breaking the OUA record and running the second fastest time in Canadian history, but I missed the standard by 0.01 of a second.”
In addition to breaking the 60-metre record, she also won gold medals in the 300-metre event in 38.36 secs. which is a personal best and York University record and the 4×200-metre relay in 1:38.53 which is a university record.
Bingham began the outdoor season last Saturday at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic in Gainesville, Florida. She finished 12th in the 200-metre event in 23.68 secs. and teamed up with Crystal Emmanuel, Kimberly Hyacinthe and Shai-Anne Davis to take third place in the 4×100-metre race in 44.09 secs.
“The plan this year is to represent Canada in the 100-, 200- and 4×100-metre relay at the Commonwealth Games and also run fast enough times to compete in a couple of Diamond League or World Challenge meets,” said Bingham. “In order to do that, I have to stay healthy and continue to run faster while setting personal bests.”
The holder of the Canadian 100-metre youth record, Bingham ran the anchor leg on the 4×100-metre relay team that established a new Canadian record – 42.99 secs. – and placed sixth at last year’s world championship.
A six-time Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) champion in the 100- and 200-metre events while attending Heart Lake Secondary School in Brampton, Bingham was the recipient of the 2013 Ken Giles award presented to the top amateur athlete in Brampton.
BLG has been associated with the CIS awards since 1993.
“We continue to be amazed by the talents and accomplishments of these outstanding athletes,” said BLG national co-chair Doug Mitchell. “Each year as we follow the past winners and hear about their accomplishments or what they are involved in, we realize how important their university sports background have been to them.”
Bingham and the rest of the nominees will be honoured at the EPCOR Centre’s Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary on April 28. They will receive a commemorative gold ring and the male and female winners will be awarded a trophy and a $10,000 scholarship to attend a Canadian university or graduate school.