Bootsman racks up clicks, wins at cities

Brandon high school track and field championships


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Madi Bootsman pounded more rubber and competitors than anyone at the Brandon high school track and field championships on Tuesday.

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Madi Bootsman pounded more rubber and competitors than anyone at the Brandon high school track and field championships on Tuesday.

The Vincent Massey Vikings senior ran 6.1 kilometres between the 3,000-metre, 800, 1,500m, 800m leg of the medley relay and 3,000m. She won gold in the last three and silver behind teammate Sofia Alvarez in the morning’s 7 1/2 lap race at UCT Stadium.

“Very tired but very happy,” Bootsman said after catching her breath following a dominant 1,500m.

Madi Bootsman of Vincent Massey won city titles in the 800-metre, 1,500m and medley relay and finished second in the 3,000m in the city track and field championships at UCT Stadium on Tuesday. (Thomas Friesen/The Brandon Sun)

“Because it’s really hard work but it’s over now and I placed really well so I’m happy.”

Bootsman ran the 800m in two minutes 58.79 seconds. She finished the 1,500m in 6:04.39 and the 3,000 in 14:04.86, 41 seconds behind Alvarez. And her medley relay team broke the city record, posting 4:53.69 with legs of 400m, 2x200m and 800m.

Bootsman credits good genes — her mother competed in the Boston Marathon — but certainly worked for her ability. She enjoyed the sport from her first YMCA Run in Grade 3 but wasn’t the strongest runner.

That changed during the COVID-19 pandemic when Bootsman and Massey teammate Juliana Crocker trained together for whenever they’d get a cross-country or track season.

“I came back completely improved. I used to be the slowest on the team and now I’ve gotten first in almost all my events today,” Bootsman said, adding Alvarez has been a terrific teammate as well.

“It’s awesome because Juliana doesn’t focus on distance … Sofia and I have done the same events all the time. It’s great to have someone to train with you and push you.”

Bootsman said she’s had offers from a few universities but is headed to Brandon University this fall to study psychology and drama.

She plans to keep training in the meantime but barring a transfer, her track and field career could end with provincials, which take place in Brandon on June 8-10. She’ll make the most of the opportunity, having learned how to handle the nerves and excitement at last year’s provincial championship.

“It’s really different,” Bootsman said. “When you’re training alone, you don’t go as fast as when you have competition and provincials on the line. It’s much different. It pushes you a lot more.

“I know for sure that 1,500 I just finished, I didn’t run a personal best but at provincials there’s a possibility that I will.”

• • •

Konnor Klemick set the city record in the JV boys’ 400m, posting 54.97 seconds at the high school track and field city championships at UCT Stadium on Tuesday. (Thomas Friesen/The Brandon Sun)

Konnor Klemick ran with house money.

He didn’t have provincial standards or even a trip to the three-day event to think about. All he wanted was to snag a city record and did so, posting a 54.97-second 400m to break the JV boys’ mark by 1.03.

“It feels good. I took it seriously with all my preparation but I just wanted to do my best and see if I could pull some records,” said Klemick, who attends the Western Canada Hockey Academy. It’s not a MHSAA member, meaning he cannot compete at provincials.

“It was good until I hit the wind. I feel like it slowed me down a bit but I kept my arms going and it took me through.”

Klemick ran for Neelin as a freshman last year before making the switch.

He practised with the Vikings ahead of the meet and hopes to split time at WCHA and Massey next year to get back to the big meet, while hopefully playing for the under-18 AAA Brandon Wheat Kings.

• • •

Simon Leckie got three victory laps to shatter his high jump personal best. While he clipped the bar on each, his mark of 1.75m not only topped all JV boys’ jumpers but it would have given him the varsity title.

“It feels pretty good because I was in Grade 9 and in finals at provincials,” Leckie said.

“Everyone ahead of me was in Grade 10 moving up so I’m excited to see if I can place.”

Crocus Plainsmen Simon Leckie won the JV boys’ high jump, posting a 1.75m mark that would have won varsity as well. (Thomas Friesen/The Brandon Sun)

While Leckie doesn’t practise high jump much at Crocus Plains, he suited up as a receiver on the Plainsmen football team and played JV basketball. He hit the weight room when he could and said he’s spent a lot of time on leg workouts.

“I’m lucky I’ve grown as well,” he said of shooting up to six-foot-one. “I think it gave me an advantage for sure.”

• • •

Massey kicker Kevin Garcia claimed the title of fastest man in Brandon, edging his receiver, Lucas Cels, and running back, Temi Toogun.

(He’s also a defensive back but special teams deserve some love too, right?)

Garcia ran the 100m dash in 12.44 seconds, following a preliminary time of 12.16 with both into a 40-plus kilometre wind.

Garcia beat Cels (12.65) and Toogun (12.66) as the three earned spots at provincials. First, Garcia and Toogun have a city soccer title to chase today as they host Crocus at 4:30 p.m.

The speedy midfielder credits his football and soccer training for bringing him up to blazing speed. He’ll likely use it next fall at Assiniboine Community College as he plans to commit to the Cougars men’s soccer team and take the construction electrician program.

While Brandon’s top players have gravitated to BU lately, and the Cougars have yet to beat their crosstown rivals, he relishes the chance to flip the script.

“I want to change that,” Garcia said, “make it a little bit different this year between BU and ACC.”

Kevin Garcia, right, wins the varsity boys’ 100m dash ahead of Massey teammates Lucas Cels, left and Temi Toogun. (Thomas Friesen/The Brandon Sun)

• • •

Viking Thomas Boychuk shot his way into the city record book with a 12.94m varsity boys’ shot put.

Massey’s Kypling Black broke the JV girls’ javelin record, throwing 27.67m.

Kristian Williamson of Massey overcame the JV boys’ 100m hurdles record at 16.46 seconds.

For provincial qualifiers in every event, see Thursday’s Page B3.


» Twitter: @thomasmfriesen

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