One of Canada’s most competitive high school distance runners, Justyn Knight of Vaughan, Ontario, today committed to his post-secondary education for the 2014 and 2015 school year. He will attend nearby Syracuse University, in Syracuse, NY on an athletics scholarship. He told Athletics Illustrated, “I chose Syracuse because, for me, it’s the right blend of academics and athletics. Syracuse has a strong academic support system for student athletes which I feel will ensure my success both on and off the track. Coach Fox and his team of coaches, along with the support of the Athletic Director, Dr. Daryl Gross, continue to improve the school’s position in the NCAA rankings and have built a solid competitive track and cross-country program.” The Orangemen compete in the first division of the NCAA in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Knight sees opportunities to contribute and make an impact. He is confident that he will receive the support needed to achieve the personal goals that he has set for himself. A very important factor for Knight is his ability to maintain a close association with his Canadian roots. “Syracuse will allow me to do that because of the close proximity, permitting more opportunities to build and preserve my relationships and connections in Canada,” he said.
Knight plans to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in the area of Humanities. “I am not sure what I want to major in at this time, but I am exploring options in doing a minor in sports management. I really like the options and course selections available to me,” said Knight. His long-term goal is to pursue a career in the sports industry. For the former basketball player it appears that there are many options and opportunities available to him, so-much-so that it is difficult to identify which specific area that he would like to specialize in.
“I do know that I love sports and I believe you should do what you love because you have a better chance of being great at it. If I am fortunate enough to run professionally after completing my BA, I might work towards a law degree during that time. A law degree is flexible and can assist me in pursuing a career in sports and contract management,” he shared.
Knight has proven to be a strong runner over longer distances, for example he competed in the North American, Central American and Caribbean Cross Country Championships that took place in Trinidad and Tobago, Saturday, February 22nd. He helped his junior Team Canada squad earn a silver medal, by being the second Canadian finisher and fifth overall. Teammate Ben Flanagan from the University of Michigan finished ahead and second overall – the two finished 1-2 at the National Cross Country Championships, with Knight prevailing as national champion November 30th in Vancouver, BC.
Knight was a competitive basketball player, but chose to specialise in athletics for his final year of school. Doing so proved fruitful as he went undefeated during the cross-country season. Knight capped his cross-country season with the club championships victory as well as his victory at the Ontario Federation of School Athletics Association (OFSAA) championships, he said, “I hope to specialize in the 5000 and the 10,000 metres. I believe that I could be a strong long distance runner. I will work with my coaches and trainers do figure out which events are best for me.”