“It was really exciting for me”; Pritchard on winning three provincial gold medals

St. Mary's Shelaine Pritchard poses with her senior girls’ aggregate award at provincial track and field in Regina. --submitted photo.

It was a weekend of gold for St. Mary’s Shelaine Pritchard, who brought home three gold medals at provincial track and field over the weekend in Regina. She finished first in the 80 metre hurdles, high jump, and long jump, as well as a third place finish in the 200 metre dash. Her performance over the weekend is one that may take a while to be duplicated by a Marauder.

“It was really exciting for me, just realizing that I was the provincial champ for those three events,” Pritchard said. “Coming back home and just having everyone congratulate me made it sink in a little more. It was like ‘wow, this is my last high school track meet’, but it went really good for me.”

Contrary to districts, Shelaine felt a lot of added pressure to her provincial run, where she competed against many athletes from Saskatoon and Regina. She said she was paying close attention to how those athletes finished their district events, so she could have a sense of where she stacked up heading into the final meet of the year. However, once the events started and she could focus on competing, it was easy to focus on her goal for the weekend, which was to string together a strong showing.

“I was kind of nervous, just because of how I was following along with those other cities,” she said. “I just wanted to see where I would be lined up with everyone else. I just really made it a goal and a priority that I wanted to have a good provincial meet and get some personal bests. One of my main goals was to also get the aggregate award, which I did, so it turned out really good.

“Going into my first final (hurdles) after having the fastest heat time, I knew I was probably looking at getting the gold medal. It was definitely a relief after for the rest of the weekend, because I felt a lot more comfortable going into my other events.”

This year’s provincial meet was also a redemption run for Pritchard. In her freshman year, she fell just short in the hurdles final, finishing in second place at provincials. Now in her senior year, Pritchard says winning gold in the event that she came so close to winning in year one feels even sweeter in year four.

“In grade nine I came in second, and it this year it just felt good to win. It felt good to win a sprinting race, because it proved to myself that I’m up there with everyone else and I know I can compete at that high level.”