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High jumper Treasure retains national title

Alyx Treasure successfully defended her title as Canadian women's high jump champion and was pleased with her performance Saturday at the national track and field championships in Edmonton.
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Alyx Treasure of Prince George wrapped her second-straight senior women's high jump title Saturday at the Canadian track and field championships in Edmonton.

Alyx Treasure successfully defended her title as Canadian women's high jump champion and was pleased with her performance Saturday at the national track and field championships in Edmonton.

But she won't be satisfied until she proves she's ready to take on the world's best leapers.

The 23-year-old Prince George Track and Field Club member won the senior women's competition with a season-high jump of 1.86 metres, which beat her previous 2015 high-water mark of 1.84 m.

"I'm happy with it, obviously I never want to lose, especially after winning last year, so I can't complain on that front," said Treasure.

Treasure set her personal career record of 1.89 at the Canadian championships last year in Moncton, N.B.

After she cleared 1.86 on her first attempt Saturday she took three runs at 1.90m and came closest with her third try but brushed the bar on the way down.

"I felt pretty good at the lower heights and was fine at the higher ones, from (1.83 to 1.86). I had one miss at 1.86 and got things together," Treasure said. "I felt like it should have been a lot cleaner, I should have had 1.90 easily but I think I kind of let the meet get to me and didn't do what I needed to. I was really focused on 1.90 and put too much pressure on it."

Treasure just wrapped up a stellar collegiate career at Kansas State University with a 12th-place finish a month ago at the NCAA outdoor national championships in Eugene, Ore. She's already proven she ranks with the best in the NCAA and with the 2015 Pan Am Games just two weeks away she's about to enter the next phase of her athletics career outside the comfort zone of her college program as a professional athlete competing internationally.

"I need to start making those steps," she said. "On Monday (in practice) I had some good looks at it (at 1.90). It's frustrating that I'm jumping just as high in practice, which means I should be probably near 1.95 at this point. Hopefully it will come."

Treasure's season goal is to clear 1.94 m, which would qualify her for the world championships in Beijing, Aug. 22-30. She'll get one more crack at achieving the world standard July 22 at the Pan Am Games in Toronto.

Tom Masich, Treasure's PGTFC coach, was disappointed he didn't get to see Treasure's jump Saturday because the senior women's high jump was not included in the Athletics Canada webcast. But with just one miss in five jumps leading up to her attempts at 1.90m, that proved to Masich that Treasure is on top of her game as far as conditioning and that puts the world standard closer within her reach.

"If you average it out over the years, she generally jumps at her very best at the ninth of 10th jump, and here she jumped 1.86 with only her fifth jump," said Masich. "It shows she's still got lots of energy when she's nearing her personal best. To know she's still got five or six jumps in her after she's won a national championship impresses me quite a bit."

Her parents, Steve and Cindy, were in the crowd Saturday in Edmonton watching her jump and Treasure came home with them to Prince George for an extended stay and will be training for the next two weeks at Masich Place Stadium. Her father Steve is a chef at the Coast Inn of the North and she's looking forward to tasting his home cooking again.

"I have a lot of work ahead of me between now and the 22nd when I jump," she said. "Being home, and hopefully being refreshed and getting my energy and health back, I hope to be able to jump well (at Pan Am Games)."