First-year Bison Track athlete Sade Ogungbemi competed in her first CIS Championship in both the 60m and 4x200m events. In the 60m preliminary heats, Ogungbemi finished well enough to qualify for the finals along with fellow Bison sprinter Lisa Wong. In the 4x200m final, she helped the Bisons earn their first medal of the championship. The Manitoban sat down to speak with Ogungbemi a day before the competition kicked off.
The Manitoban: When did you first fall in love with track and field?
Sade Ogungbemi: I’ve been doing track and field since grade seven, I believe. I’ve always loved running, and I always loved the feeling of the sprints and running really quickly.
M: Are nerves a factor heading into a big competition like the CIS Nationals?
SO: Actually, yes. I usually get nervous before our competitions. Even if it’s a small meet or a big meet, it doesn’t matter I usually get pretty nervous. But I’m excited too.
M: Is this the biggest track and field meet you’ve been apart of so far?
SO: Yea! This is the biggest by far. All of Canada will be there so it’s pretty nerve-wracking.
M: As a rookie, how does the team aspect help you.
SO: It’s really nice to have the whole team there to support you. Everyone’s been encouraging me a lot and saying that they think I’m going to run a really fast time. I’m really excited for what’s going to happen.
M: Does competing at your home track here at the U of M help?
SO: The facilities at the U of M are really good. It’s nice to training with everything here and then getting to run on our home base this weekend, so I think it will be a great advantage for us. We have one of the best tracks I think in Canada, with the bank and everything, so I think it will be very nice.
M: What’s your training routine in the week leading up to a major event like this weekend?
SO: I think we focus a lot on not doing too much, because you don’t want to be sore heading into your race. But we definitely focused on keeping fit and just keeping moving.
M: Which event offers the most pressure: an individual race or a relay race?
SO: For me, I think the relay makes me a little bit more nervous. It is a team, but everybody does something individually, so if you do something wrong it affects the whole team.
M: How special is it to participate in your first national championships when it’s being hosted here in Winnipeg?
SO: I’m really excited for it. I didn’t think I was going to make it — in my rookie year — to the nationals. Its home based too, so I’ve killed two birds with one stone: I get to run in my first year and my friends get to see me too.
M: What keeps you motivated?
SO: I think just the will to do better. I just want to do the best I can, and keep pushing myself. Keep proving myself, and see how fast I can run and what will happen.