Restricting travel and staying close to home has paid dividends for Michelle Harrison this season as Canada’s top 100m hurdler heads off to nationals.
“There have been many ups and downs throughout my career in running, but this year has seen a steady rise,” Harrison said.
While her eyes are on the podium at the national championships, her goals for the season go far beyond that.
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Harrison has just been named to the Commonwealth Games team and recently ran 12.80, a personal best that will likely earn her a place on the prestigious world team.
“We didn’t slow down and didn’t try to peak at all,” said her trainer Jason Reindl. “We knew we were going to these competitions at the start of the season to compete for the win and the time would come and the time would come.”
Harrison adds that she has been working towards this goal for a long time.
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“Finally, I was able to reach this time, which gives me confidence that I can move forward,” she said.
Harrison’s teammate heptathlete Nicole Ostertag is in a similar position. She flies to the Canadian Nationals. But her workouts haven’t been perfect as she’s been battling a heel injury since last summer.
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“At the beginning of this season, I competed in the heptathlon in Los Angeles and was a little surprised by it, and it went better than we thought, despite not training. And then I did another one in Olx Praca,” Ostertag said. “I was supposed to represent Canada in this match and it went even better.”
Despite having to cut back on training volume, coach Ostertag credits her resilience and determination as contributing to her success.
“It also shows that the result is based on athleticism, and fortunately she is quite strong and overall quite a strong athlete,” Reindl said.
The time away from the track has allowed Ostertag to solidify another tool – her mental game.
“I also tried to work on my mindset and just stay calm and control expectations,” Ostertag said. “It works for me.”
A strong performance at the national championships will help Ostertag prepare for the summer games in Canada in August, and Harrison will use the meeting as a springboard to enter the world stage.
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