Jump on it
When someone asks Shalane Haselhan to jump, they’d be smart to let her choose how high.
As a third-year member of the University of Regina track and field team, Haselhan has managed to hone her skills at both long jump and high jump, a difficult feet for anyone to accomplish.
During the Canada West championships Feb. 24-25, the education student managed to take home her first Canada West gold medal in long jump, registering a 5.68-metre jump – a full 16 centimetres longer than her second place competitor.
Haselhan was also able to showcase her skills in high jump, tying for fourth place with fellow Cougars teammate Megan Rumpel after both competitors cleared 1.63m.
Although Haselhan finished off of the podium in high jump, it’s hard for her to be disappointed with a gold medal hanging around her neck.
“I was pretty happy with my long jump performance,” she said. “A little bit disappointed with my high jump, but because I had such a good day in long jump I was happy overall.”
Not many athletes get the chance to compete in two different events at such a high level. While most athletes have to focus on one event in order to master it, Haselhan is one of three members of the track and field team that have mastered two different events. Joining Haselhan in multiple events are Chris Pickering, who competes in both shot put and weight throw, and Rumpel, who enjoys success at high jump and pentathlon.
Although Haselhan has twice as many chances to medal than most of her teammates do, she still has trouble picking a favourite out of the two events.
“Usually my favourite is just what’s going good at the time,” she said. “But I like them both equally, it’s hard to pick. Last year I was doing multi events, which has both of those in there too.”
Superstitions are often common at track and field meets. While some of her teammates may have special wristbands or specific warm-up routines they must do in order to compete, Haselhan prefers to have a laid back approach.
“Not really [any superstitions],” Haselhan admitted. “Right before I jump, I just like to picture myself making it over and then just in my head tell myself that I can do it and then just giver.”
Haselhan’s laidback attitude earned her a ninth-place finish in high jump at the 2010 CIS championships, and 11th in 2011. With a podium-filled weekend well within Haselhan’s grasp at this years national championships in Winnipeg on March 8, she has a few specific goals in mind, one being the U of R high jump record, which currently stands at 1.71m.
“I definitely want to [personal best],” she said. “The Cougars high jump record is within grabs so that would be awesome to make that and move up in the rankings a little bit.”
The Cougars will be sending a total of 17 athletes to join Haselhan in competing at the CIS championships, which are set to begin on Thursday.