R.D. Parker Collegiate's athletes of the month for June are at opposite ends of their high school sports careers but both are being recognized for ending the school year with top-10 finishes at the high school track provincials in Selkirk June 7-9.
Raylene Dysart, a Grade 9 student, is the female athlete of the month after finishing in the top 10 in the junior varsity girls' high jump at the meet, where she also competed in discus.
"I think I could have done better," she says, but the circumstances go to her a bit. "There's a lot of pressure. I hadn't been doing too well in practices so I didn't think I was going to do good anyways."
Dysart's best meet this season was the Zone 11 track championships where she took first in the high jump and second in discus. She was also sixth in the high jump at an earlier invitational tournament.
Given her choice between there two events, it's an easy call for Dysart to identify her favourite.
"I've loved high jump wince I was in Grade 4," said Dysart, who competed in elementary provincials in that event when she was in seventh grade, placing second overall.
Discus, on the other hand, was something she had thrust upon her.
"Miss [Coral] Thompson told me to do it," she says. "I never wanted to but she just told us to do it. I'm glad she did because I actually didn't do that bad. "
Dysart may be the month's top athlete but she's not an all-around competitor, which is fine by her.
I like to play volleyball," she says. "I'm actually not that bad at it. It's one of the only things I do though because I honestly hate basketball and soccer. I don't mind badminton."
Dysart is at a loss when it comes to what made the coaches choose her to win the ward as the month's top athlete.
"I don't know why," she says. "I have no idea. It kind of shocked me when [Thompson] told me I was athlete of the month. Maybe because I did top 10 in provincials for high jump. And I was the only junior girl doing it.
For male athlete of the month C.J. Henry, who's in Grade 12, competing at track provincials was the fulfillment of a goal that had long been unattainable.
"I feel it's kind of a blessing for me to be able to go in track for my Grade 12 year because from Grade 9 I've been trying to go in track but every single year I was failing math and then this year I was almost failing math but I stepped my game up and ended up passing and ended up with a eligibility of 70 so I was able to go and all my coaches were excited for me," he says.
When it comes to track, Henry is a jack of all trades.
"The only thing I haven't tried is the 800 and the 3,000 [metres,]" he says.
Henry competed in both the 4x100- and 4x400-metre relays as well as the distance medley and hurdles. However, being too excited about his only individual event seems to have backfired.
"Before the race I was doing my warm-ups and I guess I was warming up too hard and got a little bit of muscle fatigue so when I came up to the hurdles I could hardly lift up my lead leg and I hit about three hurdles and I ended up losing the race although I know I could've beat those kids," Henry says.
His most memorable moment of the meet came in the 4x400-metre relay.
"I had to play catch-up and beat the kid who was ahead of us, Henry says. "I felt pretty good because near the end of the race I could hear everybody screaming and shouting because he was going to win the race but when I beat that kid it was, you know, a piece of cake."
Now, he hopes he can continue running after high school.
"We did so well in provincials I just think I'm going to step it up a bit more, train harder and do track for a living," says Henry.
Asked why he was chosen as athlete of the month, Henry has a quick answer.
"Because I ran so well in my races and shocked everybody," says the avid athlete, who also plays badminton, soccer, softball and baseball.
The one thing that surprised him at provincials was how close the competition was.
"I'm kind of surprised because those kids have been practising all year and we kind of started track and field like a couple of months ago and we were able to compete at the same standard as kids who've been doing it all year round in their whole life," says Henry.