Carson Bradley is heading indoors for the next chapter of his track career.
The Richmond sprint standout is attending the University of Toronto where the indoor season starts in early December and culminates with the U Sports National Championships in March.
Growing up in B.C. and through the Kajaks program, Bradley has done much of his work on the traditional 400-metre outdoor oval. For eastern schools, the indoor season is the focal point of the program. The Blues compete outdoors as well, but do so as a club.
Bradley visited the campus last fall and even trained with the team. The tipping point was the school’s Mathematical Application in Economics and Finance program.
“It just felt like everything clicked for me and they do have the program that fits best in relation to where it is too,” explained the McMath graduate. “Leaving home was definitely a big part of it. I kind of wanted to spread my wings and live on my own for a bit, somewhere that was new to me too.
“It’s going to be a new training environment for sure, but at the same time there is a little bit of comfort too. There is probably about a half dozen people I have trained and competed against in the past or have known from school.”
Bradley has competed indoors before on a 300-metre track at the University of Washington. The Blues have a 200-meter track which means even more curve running.
“It’s going to be interesting trying it for the first time. I’m good at running curves and I think I will be able to make the transition well of running even tighter curves.
Bradley’s speciality outdoors was the 200 and 400 metre events. The indoor distances are 60, 300 and 600. The 300 will be his strength although he would like to try all three. The Blues also make the 4x200 and 4x400 relay events a top priority.
“That’s probably the one thing I’m looking forward to the most is they really put a lot of focus on the relays,” he said. “There’s a chance I can run both and that would be the most fun for me.”
Bradley has good reason to feel excited about relays.
He closed out his high school career back in June at the provincial championships with an electrifying anchor leg run as McMath edged Vancouver College to capture the senior boys 4x100. Even though the 100 metre is not his strength, he reeled in Jason Soriano who earlier won bronze in the individual event.
“It was definitely going out with a bang,” he smiled. “I like being in the position of chasing. You feel like you have nothing to lose. We went into the race as the top seed but they had the faster qualifying time.
“When he got the baton, he quickly had a gain but I still thought I could get him. Afterwards, I realized I never have really run the 100 (at that leve) but knew I had good top end speed.”