Paige Zinger (14), daughter of Danny and Heidi Zinger of Red Deer is a national champion in the female U16 high jump finals after jumping 1.64 metres.
Zinger also captured a second silver medal in the female U16 4x100m relay.
The National Youth Legion Track and Field Championships were held in Sherbrooke, Que. from Aug. 5 – 7.
Grandparents are Claud and Diane Zinger of Coronation.
Zinger recalls the first time she was introduced to track and field three years ago.
“First it started at school. Like we did track and field in gym class with a meet at the end of the year,“ says Zinger.
Shortly after garnering interest in the sport, she learned about different clubs in Red Deer through her parents.
Zinger joined the Red Deer Titans Club for two outdoor seasons.
In preparation for the competition, Zinger trained three times a week which involved different drills and strength training.
Although this was her first time competing nationally, Zinger was not anxious about the competition and gave her all.
“I was quite excited to go to one of those meets for nationals,“ says Zinger. “I was a little nervous, but I was mainly excited to go to another province to compete at that level.”
“When we started warm-ups, my nerves started to kick in a little more. A lot of the girls were a lot taller than me because I was one of the shortest ones.”
She notes that this is the best she has done compared to meets before the competition.
“I don’t think I really realized how big of an accomplishment it was until after the event, but I was happy with my performance,” says Zinger.
Although Zinger is proud of her accomplishments, she thanks the people supporting her through her endeavours.
“My family and coach really helped me through it all. And my teammates and all of them.“
Zinger has no plans to stop competing. She plans to participate in more national-level competitions in the future.
Although she acknowledges the bar for competition gets raised with new divisions, she hopes to continue to “get better every time.”