Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rising heptathlete Wear has eyes on worlds

Will hone her skills at Boeing Classic

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FROM Gimli to Winnipeg to California -- that's the plan for the Winnipeg Optimists Athletics club's Robyn Wear.

Wear, 16, is one of about 1,800 athletes who will compete at the 2013 Boeing Indoor Classic track and field meet at the Max Bell Fieldhouse this weekend. Though her events -- pentathlon and heptathlon -- won't be contested here, Wear will be competing in seven events to improve in each.

"I'm doing as many individual events as I can. My goal is to come out with personal bests, but also not be down on myself if I don't quite get there," said Wear, who fully committed to grow and train in her sport when she moved to Winnipeg from Gimli last year. A Grade 11 student at Springs Christian Academy, she lives with her grandmother and trains with the WOA club under coach Wayne McMahon. "I've had a really good season. I haven't had a meet yet that I haven't had a (personal best), so that's really encouraging."

At the Boeing, Wear will compete in high jump, long jump, 60m hurdles, 60m, 200m and two relays.

She broke her own record on Jan. 18 at the Athletics Manitoba Open, winning the pentathlon, becoming the provincial youth pentathlon champion and setting a record of 3,305 points.

She had set the previous record of 3,238 points at the Bison Last Chance Meet in Winnipeg on Dec. 8, 2012. Her score in her first pentathlon was 2,800 points.

When her outdoor season starts, Wear will compete in heptathlon, which features seven events, including two throwing events -- shot put and javelin.

"My plan is to start focusing on heptathlon training and then I'm hoping to go to California in April to a meet where I can try to qualify for worlds," she said, referring to the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships set for July 10-14 in Donetsk, Ukraine. The qualifying standard for the girls' heptathlon is 4,650 points and Wear has a personal best of 4,290.

Boeing meet chairman Larry Switzer said the event will kick off today with 1,200 children competing in the elementary relays events, up from 900 last year. He said the Friday and Saturday events, which double as Manitoba's age-class provincial championships, have 1,800 entries.

"This is part of a journey. I've seen it here year after year with young athletes who have talent and commitment and exceptional coaching, as they move from being an athlete in the middle-years schools to high schools and university programs and onto the international scene," said former Athletics Canada head coach Alex Gardiner. "This is what I did with Athletics Canada for a time, we looked for talent and the best situations to develop talent in. Here in Manitoba, we have an exceptional environment."

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

2013 Boeing Indoor Classic

University of Manitoba Max Bell Fieldhouse

Today

Elementary school relays, students in grades 4-6, 9:50 a.m.-12:25 p.m.

Friday

Field events: 9 a.m.-4:50 p.m., 6-8:15 p.m.

Track events: 9 a.m.-5:25 p.m., 6:30-10 p.m.

Saturday

Field events: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Track events: 9 a.m.-8:35 p.m.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 28, 2013 D4

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