The first couple weeks of June will be a time that Springbank Community High School student Tegan Wilson won’t soon forget.
Not only did the Grade 11 student come home with three gold medals at the 2014 Alberta Provincial High School Track and Field Championships in Calgary on June 6 and 7, but the 17-year-old was also named as one of seven athletes that will represent Canada at the 2014 Youth Summer Olympics in Nanjing, China from Aug. 16 to 28.
“When I got the email from Athletics Canada (on June 11) saying that I would be going to the Youth Olympics, I actually thought it was a prank from one of my friends,” Wilson said.
“But when I realized that it was a real thing, I couldn’t believe it.”
“I was getting my hair done when she called me, and I thought that she might have injured herself and I would have to run out and get her in the middle of my appointment,” Tegan’s mother Diane added.
“But when she told me that she was going to China, I was thrilled for her, and we both got a little emotional over the phone.”
Wilson, who will be one of seven track and field athletes to represent Canada at the Youth Summer Olympics, is not sure if she will competing in both the 100-metre and 200-metre races or just one of the sprint events.
“Since I just found out about it, we’re still in the process of making phone calls and getting everything arranged,” Wilson said.
“It’s really hard to say what I’ll be running in, but I expect to find out soon.”
“No matter what event I’ll be racing in, my goal is to just to do well,” Wilson added.
“I don’t have any real expectations at this point, but to make it into the finals there would be amazing.”
Before Wilson found out she would be going to China in August, she had a dominant showing in the intermediate girls’ division at the Alberta High School Provincial championships, where she won the gold medal in the 100 metre, 200 metre, and long jump events.
While she repeated her first-place showings she had in the junior girls’ 100-metre and 200-metre races in 2013, Wilson had a massive improvement in the long jump event, as she finished in seventh place a year ago.
“The long jump event isn’t really my main event, as I focus more on the sprinting events,” Wilson said. “I wasn’t even expecting to get in the medals in that event, so I was just focusing on having fun.”
“Everything came together so I was happy about that,” she added. “But I wasn’t expecting to have my jump be at 5.43 metres and have a winning margin of over 20 centimetres.”
With a Youth Olympics athlete and a multiple provincial gold medallist attending the school, Springbank Phoenix Track and Field Coach Tim Bailey is hoping Wilson’s success will see more students come out and join the track team in 2015.
“When you see athletes having success, I think it’s natural to want to be a part of that,” Bailey said.
“We would really love to have some more runners come out next year to run with Tegan in the 4x100 metre really, as that would be great to see.”
“Hopefully, with having someone who is competing on an international stage, we will get more students coming out to see what track and field is all about,” he added.