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High school stars aim for medals and glory at track and field in Selkirk

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Manitoba’s best high-school track and field athletes will begin chasing personal bests, long-standing records and glory for their schools this Thursday in Selkirk.

The 2012 Milk Provincial High School Track & Field Championship opens Thursday afternoon at the Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive Track in Selkirk with approximately 1,500 athletes representing over 120 schools competing in 70 different events.

"A pipe dream for me would be to break the 800-metre record, but that’s pretty fast," said Levin Neufeld of Kelvin, one of seven athletes who attended a press conference Wednesday to help promote the championships. "That was set by Eric Sproll (of St. Paul’s, set in 2001 with a time of 1:53:08) a long time ago. I’m about four seconds off (the record) from my best time last year. My 400 time has improved, so hopefully I’ll have more speed this year.

"My goal would be to repeat the medley (relay) and 4 x 400-metre relays wins."

Neufeld was one of the event's stars a year ago, capturing four gold medals and he has already parlayed that into a track scholarship at Trinity Western.

Sanford’s Melanie Baran is facing the same situation: hoping to end her high-school career with some memorable moments before she joins the Fresno State track team as a scholarship athlete.

"I hope to go out on a high note," said Baran. "I definitely want to medal and hopefully I can get some personal bests. I’d love to get gold in the 400, that’s always been my event, and medal in the 800 as well."

The championships begin Thursday at 12:15 p.m. and run until 8 p.m. with the evening award ceremony. Competition resumes Friday at 9:15 a.m. and wraps up at 8 with Saturday’s schedule calling for a 9 a.m. start with the awarding of team banners at 4:30 p.m.

For up-to-date results and championship information, visit the event web page at www.mhsaa.ca.

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

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