The Manitoba Bisons track and field team participated in their annual inter-squad event this past weekend. Second year athlete Gee-ef Nkwonta was competing in the long jump and triple jump. He took a few minutes away from the action to talk to the Manitoban.
The Manitoban: Did you do play any sports in high school other than track?
Gee-ef Nkwonta: The funny thing is, I didn’t even do track in high school. They just brought me at the very last meet because they said they needed bodies and I ended up doing good in triple jump. I got third, so they brought me on. My main sports were actually basketball, volleyball, and handball.
M: Handball? That’s pretty interesting. Can you tell me a bit about that?
GN: Our school just introduced it after basketball season. All through high school I did it, but I only got good in my last year. It’s important for reflexes – hand eye co-ordination especially.
M: Do you have any favourite sports teams?
GN: Golden State Warriors, no question.
M: Has that always been your favourite team?
GN: The draft day, when Stephen Curry came into the league, I told myself I would follow whatever team he goes on.
M: What are your goals for this season?
GN: I set really high standards for myself. I’m trying to get to the CIS national championships, and to get ranked top twelve in the nation. That is my goal for the season and I think it’s attainable by the way I’m progressing. Just as long as I keep working as hard, and my coaches are helping me out, so it should be pretty good.
M: How did you find your first season went?
GN: Not as good as I wanted. I was battling injuries and I feel like I underperformed. I was still hitting new bests, so it’s still an improvement. It’s gonna keep going up from here.
M: Do you have any role models?
GN: Even though he’s not my coach, Wayne McMahon is definitely my role model. He coaches the multi-eventers. He was actually the first one I talked to out of everyone at the U of M. He didn’t really tell me to come here, I just had a conversation with him and we just sort of clicked.
M: What are you studying at university?
GN: I’m actually waiting for my application back from kinesiology. So hopefully that goes good. Right now I’m just in all the sciences and stuff that I need to get in there.
M: What are you career plans after university is over?
GN: My mind changes like every two weeks, but that’s typical for every university student. I was thinking chiropractic work; that’s where I’m headed right now.
M: What is your training schedule like?
GN: We’re actually here quite a bit. It’s Monday to Thursday at 5 till 7:30-ish, and then Saturdays as well. We’re also lifting three times a week; either Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday. Whenever you can fit it in.
M: How does the team develop cohesiveness?
GN: Training a lot actually helps bring the cohesiveness. This year we’ve gotten really close really quick – which is surprising. Our coaches started doing some team building stuff when we were outside training in the cold, of course that will bring people together. Overall it’s looking really good. The teams actually coming together, and that’s good with a hundred-fifty kids.