Portager Hailee Morisseau has been recognized for her athletic accomplishments this season.
The former PCI student won the team MVP for the Female Cross-Country team at the University of Manitoba. The runner says this is something she had hoped to achieve this season.
"It was exciting. It's something that's been at the back of my mind since I started running at university. In my first couple of years, seeing my friends and teammates get the award, I was always very happy for them, but it made me want to strive to win it eventually."
Morisseau says she had a bit of prior knowledge that this would be the case, but notes that didn't take away from the feeling. She describes why she loves distance running.
"I like that you're able to fall into a rhythm with it. I tried out some of the shorter and mid-distance races this year. It was a lot of fun to try them, but it also wasn't my favourite because I didn't have that time to fall into my rhythm," says Morisseau. "It all just happens so fast in the shorter races, whereas, in the distance races I have time to get comfortable and am able to push when it gets hard. So, I think I like the difficulty of it, and when you're done it feels so gratifying."
She adds this was her first year at the U of M after a few seasons running at Lakehead University. The distance runner took a year off between changing schools, and in her first year at the University of Manitoba, COVID-19 cancelled the cross-country season. Morisseau talks about the satisfaction she feels after getting back on tracks.
"It was a lot of fun. I'm really glad that I did decide to rejoin and get back into it," Morisseau explains. "This was a fun season as we got to travel around. I also missed the racing and competition. So, it's been a great experience."
The PCI alumnus took part in a handful of races this season, going as far as Camrose, Alberta and Quebec City to compete. Morisseau says the CanWest event, involving runners from all across Western Canada, is where she put her best foot forward.
"I was able to place within the top 14 there, and then I was named a Canadian Second-Team All-Star," says Morisseau. "That was another one of my goals in running for quite a while, and I didn't think it would happen this year. Everything just kind of fell into place on the day of the race. The course was really flat, which makes it a bit easier."
Morisseau has now shifted her focus to track and field where she hopes to qualify for the Canada Summer Games in the 5000-metre event. She is excited to continue representing the University of Manitoba in future races.