Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Runner pushes herself to find personal best

Sprinter, gymnast, musician, student...

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Tegan TURNER of Nelson McIntyre Collegiate is used to pushing herself to the limits.

The 16-year-old Grade 11 student finished first in her heat and the semifinals of the 100 metres at the Milk Provincial Track and Field Championships at University Stadium Thursday.

Turner finished her heat with a time of 12.50 seconds and improved to 12.26 in the semis.

"I wasn't exactly happy with how I ran (in the preliminary heat], but [the semi-final) was a lot better. Hopefully the amount that I got better in this one I'll do the same and get better for the next one," she said.

Turner, who is also running the 200 metres this week, isn't concerned about where she places. She just wants to improve her personal best each and every time.

"I really try to push myself. It doesn't matter if it's heats or semifinals, I just try to do better. It probably comes from the gymnastics. I just try to be the best that I can be."

Turner takes time out of her gymnastics schedule to focus on track every year. She enjoys being able to focus on a single task.

"Compared to gymnastics it's a little less stressful. There's still technique, but it's nice to just get out there and have to do one thing -- run."

A lot of her interest in track is credited to her coach Jason Mckechnie. He knew Turner was fast, but he wanted to see how far he could push her.

"I put her in some pretty tough meets and she handled the pressure really well, even against some older girls. She came through in placings that far exceeded what a 15-year-old should be able to do," he said.

On top of her sports commitments, she is part of a lunchtime band at school. Mckechnie thinks of her as a good example of a model student.

"She's a tremendous young lady who works hard at everything she does. Whether it's track and field, other sports or in the classroom where she's one of the top students in the building, she has that drive. Everything she does, she works extremely hard," he said.

Turner will compete in the 100-metre final today in addition to running her first 200-metre heat.

Roughly 1,500 athletes will compete at the Milk Provincial Track and Field Championships, which run until Saturday.

kyle.jahns@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 7, 2013 C6

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Updated on Friday, June 7, 2013 at 9:50 AM CDT: replaces photo

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