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Local track athlete sets indoor track records with relay team

March 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Local track athlete Morgan Byng has made the national record books setting two records along with members of her relay team from the University of Guelph during university collegiate competition in Winnipeg.

The Guelph Gryphons team of Morgan Byng, Shyvonne Roxborough, Zoe Sherar, and Nicole Smith set an indoor record for 4 x 400 metre relay in the U23 division, breaking their own previous record.

They then went on to break the open indoor 4 x 200 metre relay on March 9, with a time of 1:36.46.

The second-year university student who is majoring in environmental studies, delved into track as a sport seriously when she was a student at Banting Memorial High School in Alliston.

“I really started getting into track around Grade 10,” Morgan explained. “A teacher at Banting said ‘you’re very tall, I’d like you to come out to a track event.’ I went out and she showed me the ins and outs of hurdles and a few other things and she put me in touch with a competitive track club in Barrie. I ran with that team for a few years. I needed something more and reached out to another track coach that runs an academy in Pickering. I drove out there almost every day. I trained with him and my results there got me onto the track team here at Guelph.”

University athletic scouts keep track of high school age athletes to see who might have success at the university level. Morgan received a formal letter from the track coach offering a position on the team at Guelph.

At this level of the sport, training is constant and is a big part of a student’s life as they balance athletics with achieving and maintaining good grades.

“It’s quite taxing,” Morgan said. “You need to find a balance between athletics and keeping you your grades up. I train with my team every day for around three hours a day. We get a day off or two days, but it’s really encouraged that you do something on those days whether it’s a light exercise or working on mobility, strengthening or conditioning, things like that. Everything you do, your eating habits, your drinking habits – you’re always wondering what your top competitor did today and what can I do to put myself ahead of them.”

Morgan described the big difference between indoor and outdoor events. During indoor track events, the track is shorter and the turns tighter making the experience a lot different from on a larger outdoor track.

Indoor events also eliminate facts such as wind and weather that can affect an athlete’s performance.

Morgan credits her teammates, the school, and the coaches for providing an environment that encourages competition and hard work in an atmosphere that also provides enjoyment in the sport as well as camaraderie and friendship with other athletes.

When asked about her future on the track, Morgan said the for now she is focuses on current competition.

“I’m just thankful that I can run every day. Obviously, I would like to bigger and better things and run for the Canadian team. Who knows where my life will be in three years but track and field will always be a part of my life and I’ll always be part of the track world.”


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