Sisler High School owned the podium at this year’s provincial track and field meet.
The Spartans won a whopping 19 medals at the Manitoba High School Athletic Association’s Milk provincial high school track and field championships, which took place June 5 to 7 at the University Stadium at the University of Manitoba, along with the AAAA banner and junior varsity girls and boys banners.
Sisler athletic director Jonathan Fast said the Spartans’ success, especially at the junior varsitylevel, can be attributed to the team’s veterans.
"It starts with the leadership from some of the older kids on the team, some of the Grade 11s and 12s who have a really great work ethic and are fun to be around and are really inclusive," Fast said. "I think that helps bring some of the younger kids along and get them enthused about it as well. Also, we just got lucky with some great talent."
Fast said Jamie Dumaran is one of the Spartans’ leaders. The Grade 12 student finished second in the varsity boys long jump (6.60 metres), second in triple jump (13.76 metres) and third in 100-metre hurdles (14.87 seconds).
"Jamie, his work ethic is unsurpassed," Fast said. "He’s there before practice and he stays right until the end. Every drill and bonus opportunity we give them for workouts, he takes advantage of it and works hard on it."
"I try to encourage everybody," Dumaran said. "It’s good to see individuals do well, but as a team it’s good to see everyone do better. I encourage everyone to come out to practices, do their warm-up and what not. If I see someone having a hard time, I try to lift their spirit."
The team comes first, but one individual highlight for Sisler was Geselle Dela Merced’s record-breaking run of 12.10 seconds in the varsity girls 80 metre hurdles. She’s fast, but Dela Merced said speed comes second in the hurdles.
"I think it’s more about technique and getting off the hurdle faster. I’ve improved my technique since last year and I think it’s helped me get to that 12.10," said Dela Merced, noting she’s aiming to break the 11 second barrier next year.
Another big Sisler winner at provincials was Grade 9 student Brianna Tynes, who was named junior varsity girls "athlete of the meet." Tynes captured gold in the 100-metre, 200-metre, 80-metre hurdles and the 4x100-metre relay. Right behind Tynes in the 100 and 200 was her teammate and friend Ashley Victoria, who won silver in both races.
"It’s really cool. Ashley’s one of my close friends and we’re always competing against each other and she pushes me," Tynes said.
Victoria feels exactly the same way about competing against Tynes.
"It’s actually really fun because someone’s pushing you and it’s also awesome because she’s from Sisler too, so we get the extra points," said Victoria, a Grade 10 student, who also won bronze in javelin.
"And even though she’s younger I’m so proud to see her go so far. It’s an honour to run with her."