E.Y.C.I. runner’s success is no surprise

Christina Kyritsis Steve Loung/Toronto Observer (Steven_ChristinaKyritsisCROP)

Christina Kyritsis is not your average teenager.

The East York Collegiate student is a multi-sport star, excelling in track and field, cross-country, basketball and soccer.

“I’d say track is [my] best [sport],” the grade 10 student said. “I like it the most so I try to put everything towards it.”

In August, she became the midget girl’s 800-metre national champion and missed the national record by mere tenths of a second. She also finished second in the 400 metres at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA) championship.

“All the hard work is finally paying off,” she said. “All the days that you’re training and finally you get what you wanted. So it’s a really good feeling after because you have a sense of accomplishment.”

Kyritsis’ success didn’t come as a surprise to her track and field coach Dimitra Tsanos, who recognized her talent early on.

“Once she did the first few runs, she was coming in the top 10,” Tsanos said, “I knew right away that she had the potential to make OFSAA.”

The East York coach and geography teacher also believes Kyritsis’ accomplishments are even more impressive because of the lonely nature of track.

“It’s tough to keep yourself motivated because [track and field] is an individual sport,” Tsanos said. “It’s not a team sport like basketball. So she really has that drive and the self-discipline to continue to do well. She’s very determined.”

The great athletic ability she possesses has not only caught the eye of Tsanos and her other coaches, but the rest of the East York student body as well.

“Everyone in grade 10 knows how great she is. We need people like her to be the leaders of our school,” Tsanos said.

“She’s an inspiration. I think she’s the reason why we have more females on the cross-country team this year. It’s good that she’s got more females going.

“We try to showcase her; we put her on the bulletin board out front, trying to encourage people to join track and cross-country.”

Despite all her success and popularity, Kyritsis has remained a humble person.

“I think she’s very responsible and she’s very kind. She’s always interested in her other teammates,” Tsanos said.

Basketball coach Stacy Ganogiannis believes she is simply a great example for young people.

“It’s refreshing to see someone with such talent, in terms of basketball and track and field, also be able to keep up with her academics,” Ganogiannis said. “They are above average at 90.”

By excelling in both athletics and scholastics, Kyritsis is building a strong foundation for her future.

“[Attaining high marks is] important to me as well,” she said. “You can’t get any where without education. My family helps me, especially my mom and dad. That’s where I’ve learned it from.

“I need to achieve good grades in order to get into university, in order to get scholarships for track.”

And to achieve her objectives in high school and beyond.

“For high school I’ve set my goals to get back to nationals and defend my title,” Kyritsis said. “Eventually, I’d like to get into the world-class stage – the Olympics.”