THE University of Manitoba women's 4x200 metres relay team gave their school something to cheer about Friday at the 2012 Canadian Interuniversity Sport track and field championship -- a shot at a medal.
The Bisons team of Sade Ogungbemi, Lisa Wong, Leah Harpelle and Kimberly-Ann Bordun placed fifth in the qualifying heats Friday and will now compete in the final today at 2:15 p.m.
"We are really excited about qualifying for the final. We had just one shaky hand-off, and if we can improve on that, I think we can get an even better time," said Harpelle, who runs the third leg of the relay.
"We came into this event ranked ninth in the country. It's only the top six that qualify, and so we really improved on our position. Even though the rankings don't mean anything when you're racing, because anything can happen, we had a really great run."
The Bisons men's 4x200 team narrowly missed qualifying for the final with a time of 1:29.59. Team members Wilfred Samking, Terrence Sampson, Dylan Ostberg and Zach Durand placed ninth among 12 teams, with the top six teams qualifying.
Harpelle said the relays are a special way to get a team feeling in an otherwise individual sport.
"It's great to do well in an individual event, but it's a great feeling when you can do even better with your relay team," said Harpelle, a fourth-year athlete who will also run for Manitoba in the final of the women's 4x400 team today at 4 p.m. "You can push each other and it really is a point of pride to do well in the relays."
In other action Friday, Bisons first-year athlete Melissa Richards jumped a personal best at 3.70 metres to place sixth in the women's pole vault.
In the men's high jump, Arthur Buchanan placed sixth with his jump of 1.93.
In the women's 300- metre race, Kimberly Hyacinthe of the Université du Québec Montréal won with a time of 38.30 seconds.
The meet will wrap up today, with events beginning at 12:30 p.m.