THE 2011 Milk Manitoba Provincial High School Track and Field Championships got underway Thursday, and despite several impressive performances, most of the athletes insist the competition takes a back seat on Day 1.
The main focus, they say, is all about pace, and just being there.
In the varsity girls 100-metres, one could have sworn Sisler's Paracholski twins, Carly (the provincial record holder in the event) and Meagan, were going for blood in their first heat.
Despite the distance they created between themselves and the rest of the pack at the University of Manitoba, Carly, the winner with a time of 12.29 seconds, was quick to point out that even sprinting must be treated like a marathon -- especially when you have other events to run that day.
"You've got to pace yourself," she said. "I have a lot of races to run and I don't wanna tire myself out too quickly."
Although Meagan finished in second, with a time of 12.45, she didn't seem as intimidated by her sister's first run as perhaps some of the other competitors. Meagan invoked some friendly competition when she remarked within her sister's earshot, "that was just the first heat."
While the Paracholskis were able to keep their great spirits throughout the day, their opponents couldn't always say the same. As the sisters came dashing across the finish line, a discouraged voice saying "Why do I have to be against the twins?" could be heard echoing across the lanes. This is likely a common sentiment, as the Paracholskis are represented in five different events.
Despite winning her heat handily, Mallory Waters, from Vincent Massey Collegiate, was simply thrilled to be competing and admired the hordes of athletic talent surrounding her.
"There are a lot of good girls out here," she said. "I'm not expecting to win, but I should be in the top eight for sure." Mallory finished her first heat with a time of 12.76 seconds.
The junior varsity boys 100 metres was similarly a picture of modesty.
Although the lightning-quick Adrian Villagomez of Red River Valley Junior Academy paced his heat assertively, he too was more interested in simply being there.
"I only trained for a month," Villagomez said. "So I really did not expect to win." When asked what he expects in the finals, Villagomez smiled and said one word. "Run."
Josh Kuhot, the winner of his heat, seemed to turn his uncertainty in the heats into confidence for the finals. "I completely did not expect to win my heat," the Sturgeon Heights student said.
However now that Kuhot will be in the finals, he "expects to finish in first or second at least."
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Matthew Fitkowski of the Kelvin Clippers was just 1.02 seconds shy of breaking the varsity boys 400m record Thursday in his heat, posting a time of 50.12 seconds. The current record stands at 49.10 seconds.
Both Max Cote (Elm Creek) and Darrell Hueging (Warren) notched impressive javelin distances in each of their qualifying rounds. The varsity boys javelin final begins today at 6:30 p.m.
In the junior varsity girls 100m dash, Sasanie Wanigasekara of St. Maurice High School stood out from the pack when she became the only competitor to post a time of under 13 seconds in her division. Wanigasekera finished in 12.96 seconds, while the next best time, 13.12 seconds, was posted by Robyn Wear of Gimli High School.