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Anna McConnell mid throw during a weight throw competition

Three time shot put gold medalist and Bison-student athlete Anna McConnell midspin during a weight throw competition

Bisons host the U Sports National Track and Field Championships

Bisons look to make history at home Mar. 7-9

March 4, 2024 — 

The University of Manitoba Bisons are hosting the U Sports Track and Field Championship from Mar. 7-9, bringing the best university athletes from across Canada to compete.

“To compete at home is just amazing and so exciting,” says fifth-year Bison and three-time shot put gold medalist Anna McConnell. “We’ve been waiting for this moment since we found out we were going to host.”

McConnell, one of the teams’ captains, says the team has been consciously building a positive dynamic to prepare for the championship so that they know they’re making an impact whether athletes are competing or in the crowd.

“We were trying to build the energy at the Canada West meet and bring it home for the championship,” says McConnell.

Coming off their recent success at the Canada West Championships, which included the men’s team winning their third straight Canada West Championship title and both teams earning four gold medals and over 16 podium finishes, the number three ranked men’s team and ninth ranked women’s team are excited to compete in front of a home crowd.

Dawson Mann, a fourth-year Bison currently ranked #1 in the 600 metre, says the men’s team has their sights set on winning the championship banner. The last time they won the championship was in 1996.

“We’re focusing only on what we can control,” says Mann. “We’ve been preparing all year just to go out there and preform to the best of our abilities.”

Head coach Claude Berube says he and the team are excited about the advantage of a home crowd in their building.

“Our athletes have traditionally performed well at home when we have hosted, which is exciting with both of our teams ranked in the top ten.”

The last time the Bisons hosted the national championship in 2019 the men’s team took home third place, their first time on the podium since 1996, and both teams earned medals in six events.

“We can’t wait to see our athletes compete at home on their own track,” said athletics and recreation director Gene Muller. “It’s an incredible experience, not only for them but for the whole province, to watch and cheer them on at what is often the best meet in the country.”

The U Sports Track and Field Championship begins Thursday, Mar. 7 and runs until March 9. Tickets are available now.

The event will stream live on CBCSports, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

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