Born in Jamaica it seems only natural that Tricia Madourie would be interested in track and field.
After all, Jamaica has produced some of the best track athletes in history, led by the incomparable Usain Bolt.
“Usain Bolt was the reason I got interested in track, he was amazing,” said Madourie, who lived in Jamaica before moving to Red Deer when she was 10.
“My dad moved here a couple of years before we came to join him,” explained the 18-year-old.
Tricia ran track when she was in Jamaica but that isn’t her forte. She’s one of the premier high jumpers in the country in her age class and a two-time high school provincial winner in the event.
She won the recent Alberta Schools Athletic Association senior girls’ title, clearing 1.70m after taking last year’s intermediate crown at 1.58m. She was also fourth in the long jump both years and competed in the 100m.
“I competed in track and soccer when I was in Jamaica,” she said.
But after arriving in Canada her interests expanded to include basketball, which proved to be more dominant in her life than she expected.
In fact, she’s been recruited by RDP Queens basketball head coach Avery Harrison this year.
“I started playing basketball in Grade 5 and I love it,” she said. “I love track as well but I want to see where basketball takes me before I look at track.”
Tricia is working out with the Queens during the summer months preparing for next season with the defending ACAC championship squad.
“It’s been great. I missed a couple of practices after injuring my ankles playing club (basketball) but it’s helped me a lot.
Practicing and getting to bond with some of the players will only help next season.”
A number of the regular members of the Queens have been on hand each week, which helps develop the younger players.
“For sure, seeing and playing against them is a big help.”
Tricia came up through the Lindsay Thurber High School program.
“That’s a big help as well, it’s mind-blowing how far I’ve come since Grade 9 and now being recruited is insane.”
Harrison, who says she’ll be one of the top athletes on the team, talked with Tricia during the zone playoffs and she made her decision soon after.
“I was surprised at getting several offers (from basketball and track coaches), but I wanted to stay close to home, it would be hard to move away right now. I hope to stay here for a while and then see what happens.”
Although she’s listed at five-foot-eight, Tricia played mainly the post position with the Raiders and her club team thanks to her outstanding vertical jump.
“I’ve never had it officially measured,” she said. “But it helps me in high jump for sure.”
She’s expecting to play guard or the wing position, for the Queens.
“I don’t have the height to play inside at the college level,” she said.
Madourie will compete for the Titans Track Club this summer, where she’s top-ranked in the U18 high jump.
“I’ll compete mainly in high jump, although I’ll do some of the sprints and relays as well. I’m looking forward to it and competing at the Nationals.”
Tricia, who has a personal best of 1.71m, consistently improved her height over the past couple of years and gives credit to former Titans coach Doug Spicer for a lot of her development.
“I only really started competing in it in Grade 11 and he helped me a lot, gave me a lot of tips. My height has consistently gone up and I’m proud of that,” she said, adding that the likes of Kathy Lalor (track and basketball) and Dan Grenier (track) also were instrumental in her development.
“And my friends really helped me, backing me while I was competing.”
Tricia graduated with her friends at LTCHS, many of whom will attend RDP. She didn’t play with any of the Queens, although she knew both Janai Hubert and Peighton Melton.
“I watched Janai when I was in Grade 9 and she was in 12 and I played against Peighton in high school when she was with Lacombe. I admit I was scared of her, now I’m her teammate,” she said with a laugh.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter and member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org