R.D. Parker Collegiate's athletes of the month for April both headed to Carman last weekend to compete at badminton provincials after winning their divisions at the Zone 11 badminton championships in Thompson April 27-28.
Breyden Turner, a Grade 12 student, won the mixed doubles competition with his partner Lori Miscavish, as they defeats fellow RDPC Trojans Jordan Lindsay and Tara Miscavish in the title showdown.
"It's been a great season so far and we're going to Carman for provincials so I'm pretty excited about that," said Turner. "We played pretty good, I guess. I didn't think it was a very competitive tournament to be honest. Competition-wise in zones I guess it was easier than the other tournaments."
The zone championship was the best tournament performance of the season for Turner and his partner, who were second at the season's first tournament in Flin Flon and then lost in the quarterfinals in Gimli, their last tournament before the zone playoffs.
Despite being out of the game for a couple of years, it wasn't hard for Turner to step back into competitive badminton.
"I started playing badminton in Grade 9 but for my Grade 10 and 11 year I haven't played so for my Grade 12 year I tried out again and I made the team so I've really only played twice competitively," explains Turner. "I got used to it right away. I loved to play badminton in Grade 9. I guess it was really natural for me to get back into playing and enjoying it."
A multi-sport athlete, Turner is currently part of the Trojans' track and field team, and says his favourite sports are volleyball and hockey. As for what appeals to him about badminton, he can't quite nail it down.
"I guess it's just that I enjoy playing it and I have fun a lot and I push myself," says the first-time athlete of the month. "I play every sport. I like playing sports."
For female athlete of the month Megan Thorne, also in Grade 12, winning the girls' singles division at the zone playoffs is old hat, a feat she's accomplished every year throughout high school. Prior to provincials, she hoped to come back with a better end result.
"I made it to playoffs each year and finished seventh or eighth each year," she says of her previous provincials experience.
Thorne was in the finals at every tournament she competed in this season, finishing second in Gimli and capturing the triple crown in Flin Flon - singles, doubles and mixed doubles championships. But she knew her work would be cut out for her in Carman.
"It's pretty hard," she admitted. "I've got a girl in my pool who beat me in Gimli so that'll make it tough."
When it comes to the secret of her success, Thorne says it comes down to one simple factor.
"I've got a lot of power to my game, I guess," she said. "I clear to the back of the court to make it harder for your opponents."
A volleyball, basketball and soccer player as well, Thorne is humble when it comes to identifying what made her the athlete of the month.
"Good player, positive attitude," she says.