Neepawa jumper Denbow transfers from Beavers to Bisons

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Lara Denbow jumped right into NCAA Division I action without missing a beat. After one year with the Oregon State Beavers, however, she’s coming home and joining the Manitoba Bisons for the 2022-23 Canada West track and field season.

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Lara Denbow jumped right into NCAA Division I action without missing a beat. After one year with the Oregon State Beavers, however, she’s coming home and joining the Manitoba Bisons for the 2022-23 Canada West track and field season.

The Neepawa product said it was simply a move closer to her family and support system.

“(OSU) was really good. I really did enjoy it there, I also just really enjoy it here,” Denbow said. “I love my coach (Mingpu Wu) at the university too.

Tim Smith/The Brandon Sun Neepawa’s Lara Denbow, shown winning a Legion national high jump title in 2018, is transfering to the University of Manitoba from Oregon State.

“He’s just a really caring man. He’s very knowledgable, very wise.”

Denbow burst onto the track and field scene early, capturing an under-16 gold medal at the Legion nationals in Brandon in 2018 with a 1.70-metre high jump.

She since claimed gold at the Simplot Games in Idaho in 2020 with a then personal best 1.75m leap. Denbow posted an indoor personal best of 1.75 in February 2020 and an outdoor PB of 1.78 in July 2021.

As a college freshman, she won the UW Invitational high jump at 1.73m in January and matched that mark a few more times, including a victory at the Willamette T&F Invitational in March.

Her outdoor season best was 1.71m for second place at the Beach Invitational in April in Long Beach, Calif. But she no-heighted at the Pac-12 conference championships to end her season in May.

While the numbers aren’t shooting up as they did a few years ago, Denbow feels she’s still growing.

“That’s going to be the same in every sport,” Denbow said. “Every plateau is harder to get to.

“… That’s something most track and field athletes come to terms with pretty early after being in the sport for a bit. It is so individual and so performance related. I feel like the biggest thing in track and field is you have to be consistent at a higher mark before you can have that breakthrough.”

The former Prairie Storm Athletics jumper relished the chance to travel from the West Coast campus to Albuquerque, Los Angeles, Seattle and meets all over Oregon.

She studied kinesiology and is entering a bachelor of science program with hopes of a future in medicine.

Denbow’s also aiming to get back to triple jump, which she did in high school and has an impressive PB of 11.98m.

It’s safe to say the Bisons just got better.

“I have gotten faster, gotten stronger, now I’m trying to put the pieces together to have that benefit me,” Denbow said.

“… The biggest thing is you keep showing up.”

» tfriesen@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @thomasmfriesen

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