Pair of Prince Albert sprinters eye Saskatoon and Edmonton

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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Shyanna Morash and Mike Taylor cool down after a sprint workout at Harry Jerome Track in Prime Ministers’ Park on Tuesday evening. Both have big events coming up soon. Herald photo by Perry Bergson

By Kristen McEwen

Former national champion to compete in Alberta provincial track meet

Mike Taylor won’t let his age be a factor as he competes in the 100-metre event at the 2014 Alberta Provincial Championships in Edmonton this weekend. 

The 32-year-old expects he will be racing against other competitors at least five years younger than himself.

“This one has some former Olympians competing, some want to get (back) to that level again,” Taylor said. 

Running and competing in this provincial event exceeds expectations Taylor has for himself.

He noted that the times he’s set recently are comparable to the ones he set in his younger years.

Originally from Saskatoon, Taylor has been running and competing in track events since high school. In Grade 12, Taylor he became the national champion in the 200-metre event. In university, he won CIS Rookie of the Year and set the junior record for 18 and 19 year olds in 100-metres.

Taylor took a break from running in 2006 but picked it up again four years later when he began coaching high school ages and older for the Prince Albert CC Track Club.

“I was coaching and some of the kids were faster than the other ones and I thought I might be able to help them out by running with them,” he said. 

As Taylor coached and trained with the kids, he began competing with them at track meets. 

Though there were four years where Taylor wasn’t competing, he felt the break was necessary.

“I don’t think you can keep training for such a long time,” he said. “There’s no professionals that you hear about that last for 20 years in track and field. It’s too hard.”

Taylor recently entered his first outdoor competition since university -- the 2014 Saskatchewan Open Championships in June. He placed fourth and unofficially set a record of 11.19 seconds for the 100-metre event.

Taylor is considered to be in the pre-Masters athlete category from ages 30 to 34. The groups keep track of the times set in each age group.

“One of them said, I think you broke the record in 100-metres and I looked online and it seems that I have based on what last year’s records say,” Taylor said. “It looks like there aren’t many people my age running in Saskatchewan.”

The record will be confirmed when the times are compiled during the off-season in the fall.

As a result of his achievements in the Saskatchewan provincial meet, Taylor decided to enter the Alberta Outdoor Track and Field Championships from July 12-13.

He plans to finish in the top eight of his event. He said he realized his goal doesn’t sound very exciting but he wants to extend his current running time. 

“It’s weird to come in four or five years later and not really know what to expect anymore,” he said. “Being at my advanced age of running, you have no expectations, not as much pressure on yourself.”

Taylor noted that in university, every track meet used to mean a lot to him. 

“Now, I’m happy to be running, I can still move,” he joked.  

• • •  

CC Track athlete to compete at Western Meet

Track and field athlete Shyanna Morash is looking to break personal records at the Western Meet in Saskatoon from July 18-20.

“I’m hoping I can just break my personal records and just excel to the best that I can,” she said. “If that allows me to win it then that’s great too. Just as long as I can do my best I’ll be quite happy with that.”

Making it to the Western Meet is a first for the 16-year-old. She made it as far as the high school provincial level last year.

“I feel like I have just accomplished a lot in this last year,” Morash said. “I feel like I’m really (proving to) myself that I can do well and pushing myself to do better.” 

This year, she made it to the 2014 Saskatchewan Open Championships and Trials meet in Regina.

Morash said her performance at the Trials meet wasn’t her best.  She placed second in the Girls’ Pole Vault with a height of 2.10 metres and placed sixth in the Girls 100-metre hurdles with a time of 24.97 seconds. 

 “I don’t think I competed quite to my best but I know I can compete better than I did at that meet,” she said.

Morash has participated in track and field since Grade 5 though she began competing seriously in Grade 8.

“I found that I really liked it and I started to train a lot harder,” she said. “I was making goals for myself and I was achieving them and I started setting more goals.”

Morash has been with the CC Track Club for three years, specializing in hurdles, sprints and pole vault. 

“It’s something I have a really high passion for, I just love it,” she said. “My family has also done it for many years, my dad holds a pole vault record for the district right now.”

Morash’s father, Trevor, continues to hold the North Central District Senior Boys Pole Vault record of 3.90 metres from 1988.

As for Morash, she continues to train between two and five times a week with coaches and at home.

 “I’m doing great, I’ve broken my personal best so many times this year, it’s crazy,” she said. “I’ve just done better and better. At every practice, I get better.”

Morash will be competing in pole vault, the 200-metre sprint and the 100-metre hurdles at the Western Meet later this month.

She said she thinks the competition is going to be more challenging since the outdoor season will have more people than the indoor season.

“I’m still hoping I can accomplish a lot more,” Morash said. “I think for the age I’m at right now, I’ve accomplished quite a bit and I think I’m doing quite well for myself.”

sports@paherald.sk.ca

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