FALL RIVER: Abbi Gaudry knew she wanted to do some type of sport as she entered junior high at Georges P. Vanier. And then she met Mr. Hanlon, the track and field and phys ed. teacher at the school.

Once she met with him and learned about track-and-field, especially the heptathlon, the Fall River girl was hooked. Now she eats, sleeps and breathes track and field, and is racking up the accolades to boot.

“I found it to be super fun,” said Gaudry during an interview at the new beach area behind the Snow Centre next to Lake Thomas. “There were a lot of different events I could do. There was jumping, running, and more. I loved all of it.”

Abbi Gaudry in action (Jim Neale photo)

She said Bella Willet of Waverley was among the inspirational athletes she has met through her club team, Chebucto Athletics.

Gaudry said the main attraction was the coaching style of the coaches.

“Their coaching style was completely different,” she said. “Track encompasses the whole body, and gets you fit.”

She said the best event for her is Heptathlon — something another track athlete from Fall River, Bridget Deveau at UMass, excels in. Gaudry likes it because it’s all of the events.

“I’m hopefully going into that next year at Lockview because I can’t chose an event,” said Gaudry.

At competitions, do results matter to Gaudry? Not really.

“It’s more about my personal bests and having fun,” she said.

What’s the best part about track and field?

“You get to train and do everything together as a team,” said Gaudry. “When the day comes to compete, it’s completely individual. But if you’re having a bad day you can go to your teammates and off-load your stress to them.”

Gaudry, a Grade 10 student at Lockview High, has high hopes for the future, using track as a stepping stone to university. She was heading to Legion National track championships this week (Aug.9-12).

“It’s a great opportunity for scholarships to help me further my education,” she said. “We’ll see where that takes me.”

Any Olympic aspirations?

“I would love to represent Team Canada eventually, but whatever happens happens,” said Gaudry.

She hopes to put her name alongside that of locals Deveau and Nicole Wadden.

“I think it would be amazing if I could follow them and do track and field in the U.S.,” she said. “They’re both incredible role models for me. They have both talked to me about it.

“It would be amazing to just be up there with them. We’re all super inspired by them.”

Gaudry had some advice for other athletes doing track-and-field.

“Just do your best and have fun,” she said. “It’s an awesome sport to get into.”

She will be one to watch in the future!