ST. GREGOR — St. Gregor’s Lily Yungmann capped her first season of university track and field off in style.
The University of Saskatchewan student-athlete not only qualified for the Canada West Championships, but excelled.
Huskies head coach Jason Reindl said Yungmann placed 10th in pole vault with a personal best of 3.10 metres. She posted a season best of 10.88 metres in triple jump at the meet.
Yungmann said competing at the event was her favourite part of her rookie season.
“To even have the chance to compete at this competition was an opportunity I never expected to have in my first year,” the daughter of Darren and Julie Yungmann said. “It was so much fun to travel with the team and cheer everyone on. I also enjoyed getting to practise every day with my amazing teammates. Being active and doing the sport I love was the best study break I could have asked for.”
Reindl praised Yungmann’s improvement in both events. He is pleased with what she brings to the Huskies.
“Lily really impressed with her ability to fit in with group and make a positive influence on others,” Reindl said. “Her effort, commitment, and dedication spoke to what we look for in Huskie athletes. These traits are what we look for because we know they are what helps athletes continually improve.”
Yungmann said that university track and field is more competitive and demanding than high school and club.
“There are more training hours, increased pressure to succeed and a larger team aspect to it. Training is no longer just about how to improve personally, but about how you can become better to help the team. With the Huskies, I get to train with some of the best track athletes in the country, which is a very inspiring atmosphere to be a part of.”
She said she got her start in track and field in Grade 6. Yungmann not only competed in high school events for Annaheim School, but also in club. From Grade 8 through 11, she trained with Muenster’s Quill Plains Track Club. Yungmann also did some training in Saskatoon during that time and joined the Riversdale Athletics Club there in Grade 12.
No matter where she has trained, her parents have backed her.
“They are very proud and supportive of my track and field career,” she said. “My mom would always drive me to practices and never missed a meet.”
Triple jump has been part of Yungmann’s track and field career from the very start.
“It has always been one of my favorites and I am thankful for my coaches who work so hard to help me improve,” she said.
When she was younger, Yungmann watched pole vaulting and thought it would be fun to try.
“I never thought I would have the chance, since the closest facility is in Saskatoon, but my supportive mom agreed to drive me to the city for practices,” she said. “People always ask me if I was afraid to try; the answer is no. I was quite excited and am glad I took the chance because a lot of great opportunities came out of it.”
Yungmann was a four-time provincial medallist in pole vault.
“In pole vault you never know what can happen,” she said. “You have to have a strong mental game, especially when it comes to the third attempt. There are always a lot of technical things to keep in mind from the moment I lift the pole off the ground to the moment I land in the pit. It is not easy, but I enjoy the challenge and love the feeling of clearing a new height.”