The slimmest margin of victory



The varsity girls’ 100-meter final took less than 15 seconds from the time the tee shot was fired until a group of athletes crossed the line for a photo-finish, but it was a reward years to come.

It took 12.87 seconds to crown the event’s first champion since 2019 on day two of the Manitoba High School Provincial Track and Field Championships. Jazmin Birch, a Grade 11 student at Collège Béliveau, emerged victorious by five hundredths of a second to claim the provincial title Friday afternoon at the University of Manitoba Stadium.

“I would say before that I’m really nervous,” Birch said. “But I use that nerve as excitement and I use it to stimulate myself and hopefully have a good run.”

Birch was one of several provincial champions crowned in Friday’s event and said sometimes the race goes fast and others slow, but she felt satisfied with her performance in the 100-metre final .

“I think I did really well, I made sure I got a good start,” Birch said. “I used my long legs with strides.”


MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jazmin Birch, a student at Collège Béliveau, won the 100m with a time of 12.87 at the 2022 Manitoba Provincial Track and Field Championships at the University of Manitoba Stadium.

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MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Beliveau College student Jazmin Birch won the 100m with a time of 12.87 at the 2022 Manitoba Provincial Track and Field Championships at the University of Manitoba Stadium.

Zandre Castello of Maples Collegiate broke his personal best three times and nearly leapt out of the stadium en route to the varsity boys’ high jump title.

The 12th grade student won the event with a jump of 1.9 meters. However, it was not all easy for Castello, who only crossed the previous mark on his third and final try.

Castello said he focused on his breathing, closed his eyes and began his approach when he felt calm to recover and nail the 1.88-yard attempt. He needed just one shot to clear the 1.9m mark after narrowly overtaking the previous attempt.

“It’s very good, I want to continue the track now,” he said. “I’m doing great…and this is my first year high jumping.

Castello left for the University of Manitoba and wants to try out for the school’s track team. He also had a lot to say about his teammates, who were actively trying to convince their coach to buy them Chicken McNuggets if Castello won gold.

“The support, I really appreciate it,” he said. “Not many people supported me…before all of this. It’s nice.”




<p>MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>Vincent Massey Collegiate Grade 12 student Signy McKim during the high jump competition at the 2022 Manitoba Provincial Track and Field Championships at the University of Manitoba Stadium.  Signy won with a final jump of 1.56m.  </p>
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<p>MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>Vincent Massey Collegiate Grade 12 student Signy McKim during the high jump competition at the 2022 Manitoba Provincial Track and Field Championships at the University of Manitoba Stadium.  Signy won with a final jump of 1.56m. </p>
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<p>He is also looking forward to celebrating the win with his family.			</p>
<p>“I’m going to go home and celebrate with my mum and dad and train more so I can go higher,” he said.			</p>
<p>The varsity girls’ high jump final was held in the afternoon heat, which was another hurdle as the competitors braved the elements to put their best foot forward.			</p>
<p>Signy McKim of Vincent Massey Collegiate won the title by clearing a 1.56 meter jump on his final attempt.			</p>
<p>“I couldn’t compete as much as I wanted to and definitely had to go back to where I was in 10th grade a long time ago,” McKim said.  “But I worked hard to get back to where I was and I’m getting there.”			</p>
<p>“I’m proud of what I did today, but I think I can still do better,” she added.			</p>
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<p>MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>Signy McKim, a Grade 12 student at Vincent Massey Collegiate, won the title with a high jump of 1.56 meters on his last attempt.</p>
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<p>MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>Signy McKim, a Grade 12 student at Vincent Massey Collegiate, won the title with a high jump of 1.56 meters on his last attempt.</p>
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<p>McKim thought the weather played a role in the peloton’s performance, noting that the heat had an impact on their jumps.  She laughed explaining that as a redhead she had to work very hard not to come away with a sunburn.			</p>
<p>“I felt a little heavier today,” McKim said.  “I think everyone did it because I saw some people do a lot better yesterday, but I think everyone did very well.”			</p>
<p>The Grade 12 student will attend the University of Manitoba and compete on their track team after graduating from high school.  Before that, she is excited to finish the competition and continue competing until the weekend.			</p>
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“Honestly, I was a little scared that we wouldn’t have a track season,” McKim said. “But I’m really glad we did it, I’m glad to be back.”

The 2022 Manitoba High School Provincial Track and Field Championships wrap up Saturday.

Just like the 100 meters, the competition has passed so quickly that if you blink, you’ll probably miss it. Everyone from athletes to event organizers agreed that this was an event worth waiting for after two years of not being able to host provincial championships.

“It feels good, I’m really excited,” Birch said. “Even before coming here and before going to the provincials, I was just excited to get back into the rhythm of everything.”

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