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.”
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.”
“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.”