WINNIPEG – The three-day provincial high school track and field championships begin Thursday.
There will be 1,400 athletes from more than 120 schools competing in 70 different events, including a pair of Kelvin track athletes who have quite the friendly rivalry.
Kirk Wright is the defending boys varsity champion in tetrathlon after he won as a Grade 11 student last year. The tetrathlon is a decathlon-type event that includes the 100 metre, 800 metre, shot put and long jump.
Just a few weeks ago, Wright suffered a concussion playing soccer, but he’s all healed up and will be there to defend his crown.
“It would be great to get some good results,” said Wright. “But for me, it’s the peak of the whole high school experience for me, this last event. It’s the last hurrah and I have to leave it all out there on the track.”
It’s the last hurrah because Wright will be heading to McGill University in the fall. But some of his stiffest competition this week will come from his longtime friend and Kelvin teammate Borzah Yankey. The two motivate each other through the daily grind of early morning practices.
“Whenever one fails we always just like talk and just like motivate each other,” said Yankey.
“I was thrilled that he joined me in the tetrathlon this year,” said Wright. “He’s a great all-around athlete and he’s going to be very successful.”
And their track coach at Kelvin is looking forward to seeing the two face off.
“It’s going to be interesting, ’cause they each have their strengths,” said coach Tim Shynkaruk. “So it’s going to be a close competition between the two.”
But if Wright has an advantage, it’s his ability to rise to the occasion, Shynkaruk said.
“He’s got this inate ability to have his best performances at the most important times,” said Shynkaruk. “He’s a true competitor.”
The competition starts Thursday at the University Of Manitoba with the finals on Saturday.
© Shaw Media, 2014