Prime Saskatoon-based observe athletes prepared for nationals and past

Limiting travel and staying close to home has paid dividends for Michelle Harrison this season as the top-ranked Canadian 100-metre hurdler heads off to nationals.

“Throughout my track career there’s been lots of ups and downs but this year has just been a steady increase,” Harrison said.

While her eyes are set on a podium finish at nationals, her season goals extend far beyond that.

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Harrison was just named to the Commonwealth Games team and recently ran 12.80, a personal best that will likely earn her a spot on the prestigious world’s team.

“We didn’t taper off and try and peak at all,” her coach Jason Reindl said. “We knew that we were going into this early season meets just to compete to win kind of thing and the times would come and the times did come.”

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Harrison adds that she’s been working towards that goal for a long time.

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“To finally be able to reach that time gives me that confidence to be able to move forward,” she said.

Harrison’s teammate heptathlete Nicole Ostertag is in a similar position. She’s flying to nationals ranked number one in Canada. But her training hasn’t been ideal as she’s been battling a heel injury since last summer.

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“I did a heptathlon in LA earlier this season and kind of surprised ourselves with that one and it went better than we thought despite having not trained. And then I did another one in Ottawa,” Ostertag said. “I got to represent Canada for that one and that one went even better.”

Despite having to tone down the training volume, Ostertag’s coach believes her resilience and commitment are driving her to be successful.

“It also goes to show that performance comes from a foundation of athleticism and thankfully she’s pretty strong and a pretty strong athlete overall,” Reindl said.

The time away from the track has allowed Ostertag to strengthen another tool, her mental game

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“I’ve also been trying to work on my mindset and just staying calm and keeping expectations in check,” Ostertag said. “It’s been working out for me.”

A strong showing at nationals will help prepare Ostertag for the Canada summer games in August while Harrison will use the meet as a springboard to the world stage.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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