SPRINTER, SKELETON ATHLETE JOINS SPARTANS TRACK AND FIELD

Liza Whitehead

TRACK & FIELD
MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2012
RECRUIT SIGNING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SPRINTER, SKELETON ATHLETE JOINS SPARTANS TRACK AND FIELD

LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western track and field team will have a B.C. provincial skeleton champion on its roster this fall as veteran sprinter Liza Whitehead (Surrey, B.C.) will return to the university track to compete with the Spartans, coach Laurier Primeau announced Monday.

The 5-foot-2 speedster, who graduated from Surrey’s Johnston Heights Secondary in 2005, will join the Spartans as a fourth-year university athlete having competed for two years at the University of Utah and one year at Simon Fraser University.

“I have known Liza since her high school days and I know she will bring a level of professionalism and maturity to our young squad, which are components everyone agrees are important but, at the same time, very difficult to quantify,” Primeau said. “But what is objectively measurable is her speed. She will instantly make our sprinting better and, along with Anastasia Pearse, Hazel Ross and JJ Jones, among others, we have the makings of an excellent 4x200m team. This next year is looking to be a great leap forward for our program and there’s no doubt Liza will play a major part in future success.”

On the track, Whitehead’s personal bests include 7.70 in the 60m – a time that would have earned her a silver medal at the 2012 Canada West Championships – 11.98 in the 100m and 24.70 in the 200m.

But while Whitehead will be running with the Spartans on dry land, her most recent athletic endeavours have seen her competing on an icy shoot. After running with Utah for two years, Whitehead injured her hamstring and, instead of returning to the Salt Lake City based school, she decided, in 2008, to try her luck with skeleton. And since then, she has climbed her way up the skeleton ladder, so much so that this past March, she won the women’s title at the B.C. Championships at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

However, with sprinting being such a major component of skeleton, over the years since leaving Utah, and including the one year in competition at SFU, Whitehead – who has ran with the Coquitlam Cheetahs Track and Field Club since 2006 – has certainly maintained her form on the track.

Since 2002, she has consistently been among the top two sprinters in B.C. for her age group and, upon arriving at Trinity Western, will immediately be a medal threat at both the Canada West and CIS levels.

Over the past several years, Whitehead has represented B.C. at a variety of events including the 2005 Canada Summer Games, 2006 and 2011 Canadian Championships and the 2007 Western Canada Games.

Her most impressive result came at the 2006 Canadian Championships where she finished sixth in the 100m.

Most recently, Whitehead earned a silver medal at this year’s Valley Royals Invitational at Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium, clocking a time of 12.16 in just her second official competition of 2012.

“I am very excited about this new opportunity,” said Whitehead, who plans to study human kinetics. “I will be joining a great athletic and academic program and I’m happy I’ll be finishing my last two years of studies and university athletics as a Spartan.”
Away from the track, Whitehead was an honour roll student throughout high school and earned a spot on the Dean’s List in her first year at the University of Utah.

Whitehead joins Rebecca Marchant, Anastasia Pearse, Nick Ayin. Braedon Dolfo, Erin Kokayko, Delyth Harper, James Linde, Joel De Schiffart and Levi Neufeld as part of the Primeau’s announced 2012 recruiting class.

ABOUT TRINITY WESTERN TRACK & FIELD

This fall Trinity Western will enter its third year back competing in the CIS after a six-year hiatus.

After the Spartans returned to track and field in the fall of 2010, the program has taken huge strides in becoming a competitive group at both the Canada West and CIS levels.

In 2011-12, the Spartans made a triumphant return to both the Canada West and CIS podiums as Trinity Western collected six conference medals and two national medals.

At the CIS Championships, high jumper Emma Nuttall claimed the Spartans first gold medal since 2002 when Laura Wilson won in the 60m with a season’s best jump of 1.82m. On that same day, middle distance runner Fiona Benson captured a bronze medal in the 1500m with a time of 4:29.35.

On top of their double-medal effort at the CIS national championships, at the Canada West Championships the Spartans were also very productive as Calum Innes (60m) and Benson (1500m) won gold medals, Nuttall (high jump) and Benson (1000m) each captured silver medals and Blair Johnston (1500m) and Jake Powrie (pentathlon) earned bronze medals.

Over their history, the Spartans have a total of seven CIS medals, including two gold medals (Nuttall [high jump] – 2012 and Laura Wilson [60m] – 2002), one silver medal (Ian Sharp [1000m] – 2002) and four bronze medals (Benson [1500m] – 2012, Justin Beanblossom [600m] – 2002 and 2003 and Aleena Zibin [Shot Put] – 2003).

-TW-



Last Updated: 2013-08-22
Author: Mark Janzen

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