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Bert Church track athlete gets bronze at provincials

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 10:23 am

Bert Church Chargers Grade 10 student Katie Yackel earned a bronze medal in the junior girls 80-metre hurdle race at the Alberta High School track and field championships in Calgary on June 6.
Bert Church Chargers Grade 10 student Katie Yackel earned a bronze medal in the junior girls 80-metre hurdle race at the Alberta High School track and field championships in Calgary on June 6.
LUCAS PUNKARI/Rocky View Publishing

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As a competitor, Bert Church High School track and field athlete Katie Yackel was hoping to have a higher finish at the 2014 Alberta High School Track & Field Championships at Foothills Athletic Park in Calgary on June 6.

However, the Grade 10 student was still very excited about earning her first provincial medal, as she nabbed the bronze medal in the 80-metre junior hurdles.

“To be able to get a medal of any kind in my first time at the provincials is something that I am really proud of,” Yackel said.

“What was really neat was the fact that I was able to be on the podium with two of my Calgary Warriors teammates (Katelyn Slessor of Central Memorial and Morgan Kravtsov of Centennial), which was really special.”

“I would like to finish ahead of them next year, but we will see what happens,” she joked.

Yackel’s time of 12.04 seconds was almost a half second ahead of fourth- place finisher Nicole Torpe of Provost in the race for a bronze medal, although the Airdrie native felt she could of run a little bit quicker.

“With the Warriors, we run 100-metre races in the hurdles, so getting used to the 80-metre race is something I’m still working on,” Yackel said. “That’s something I really want to work on for next year.”

“The biggest thing is just figuring out the shorter distances between the hurdles, and working on shortening my steps,” she added. “It’s something that you have to get used to through practice.”

Earlier in the day on June 6, Yackel took part in the junior girls’ triple jump event, where she finished in fourth place with a jump of 10.77 metres.

“That event didn’t go as well as I would have hoped,” Yackel said.

“I wasn’t able to have any good jumps, as I was trying get into the 10.90 range to get into the medal hunt,” she added. “I had a couple of nagging injuries in my legs as well that may have held me back a little bit, but that’s not an excuse.”

Yackel plans to be back to compete in the triple jump and 80-metre hurdle events in 2015 as a Grade 11 student, but she may add another event to her slate for next year.

“I haven’t decided what one yet, but I’m leaning towards the 400-metre race,” Yackel said. “I was planning to compete in that this year, but I withdrew from it after the divisional meet back in May because of my leg injuries, as I didn’t want to miss out on my other two events.”

“Hopefully next year, those issues won’t crop up,” she added.


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