TRACK & FIELD TEAMS SET TO COMPETE AT NATIONALS

TRACK AND FIELD
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2013
CIS CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TRACK & FIELD TEAMS SET TO COMPETE AT NATIONALS
    
EDMONTON – The Trinity Western track and field teams will open the CIS championships Thursday with a distinct medal haul on their minds. After collecting a school-record 12 medals at the Canada West championships, the Spartans have positioned themselves well to better last year’s two-medal performance.

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The three-day competition, which will be held at the University Pavilion and runs from Mar. 7-9, will be hosted by the University of Alberta for the first time since 1994. The event gets underway Thursday at 11 a.m. MT with the season awards luncheon at Lister Hall on the U of A campus.  The championships conclude Saturday afternoon with the 4x400m relays.

Entering this weekend’s competition, the Spartans women’s team is ranked No. 6 in the latest CIS Top 10 and second amongst Canada West schools, while the men’s team currently sits 15th in the CIS and sixth in the conference.

Individually, TWU will be led by the likes of Fiona Benson (Dawson Creek, B.C.), Emma Nuttall (Edinburgh, Scotland), Calum Innes (Glasgow Scotland) and Liza Whitehead (Surrey, B.C.).

Benson enters the competition as the Spartans best chance for a double-medalist as she is currently ranked first in the CIS in the 1500m, with a season’s best time of 4:22.97, and third in the 3000m, with a season’s best time of 9:30.59. Benson won a bronze medal in the 1500m at the Canada West championships but did not compete in the 3000m.

While Benson will look to become the first TWU athlete to win two medals in a single national championship, high jumper Nuttall hopes to become the first TWU athlete to capture back-to-back CIS gold medals. Nuttall took the top spot on the podium last year with a clearance of 1.82m and is coming off a gold medal-winning effort at the Canada West championships in which her jump of 1.85m broke Jeannie Cockroft’s (UBC) 28-year-old conference championship record of 1.84m. For her effort, she earned the Canada West award for the Outstanding Female Performance of the Meet.

Innes also arrives in Edmonton fresh off a gold medal-winning performance at the Canada West championships as he posted a personal best and school record time of 8.01 in the 60m hurdles. Last year, he finished fourth at the CIS championships with a time of 8.19. Innes, who also won a silver medal at the conference championships in the 60m but won’t be competing in the 60m at nationals, was named the Canada West Male Outstanding Track Performer.

Whitehead, competing in her first year with TWU but in her fourth year of eligibility, so far, comes to nationals with the second fastest 60m time in the CIS this year, having previously clocked a time of 7.55. She is coming off a bronze medal-winning performance at the conference championships, after posting a time of 7.64 in the final.

On the women’s side, the Spartans have a number of other potential medalists, led by Canada West silver medalist Rebecca Marchant (Melbourne, Australia), who enters the national championships ranked fourth in pole vault with a season’s best vault of 4.01m, and Alison Jackson (Vermilion, Alta.), who won a gold medal in the 3000m and a silver medal in the 1500m at this year’s conference championships. Jackson comes to nationals ranked eighth in the 3000m with a season’s best time of 9:52.54 and 13th in the 1500m, with a season’s best time of 4:36.94. Earlier this year, Jackson was also given the Canada West Female Student-Athlete and Community Service Award.

Triple jumper Ayla Akehurst (Campbell River, B.C.) is ranked seventh after winning bronze at the conference championships with a jump of 11.81, while Hazel Ross (Bishopton, Scotland) is ranked eighth in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.69, Marchant is ninth in triple jump with a leap of 11.70m, Ivonne Zuniga (Mexicali, Mexico) is 10th in pole vault with a clearance of 3.60m and Anastasia Pearse (Victoria) is 11th in the 300m with a time of 40.45.

The Spartans women’s 4x200m team is ranked seventh going into this weekend’s event after a Canada West bronze medal-winning time of 1:42.10.

On the men’s side, pole vaulters Jamie Sinclair (Glasgow, Scotland), who won a bronze medal at the Canada West championships, is tied for sixth in the CIS with a season’s best clearance of 4.51m and Jesse Phillips (Anaheim, Cali.) is tied for ninth with a vault of 4.50m.

Sprinter Nathan George (Coquitlam, B.C.) is ranked 12th in the 60m with a season’s best time of 6.95.

ALL-TIME SPARTANS MEDALS AT CIS CHAMPIONSHIPS

GOLD
Emma Nuttall – High Jump – 2011-12
Laura Wilson – 60m – 2001-02

SILVER
Ian Sharp – 1000m – 2001-02

BRONZE
Fiona Benson – 1500m – 2011-12
Justin Beanblossom – 600m – 2001-02 and 2002-03
Aleena Zibin – Shot Put – 2002-03

Last year, both the men’s and women’s teams finished 15th at the national championship.

2013 CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (selected events webcast daily at www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Thursday, March 7

14:30   Weight Throw (W) Final
15:00   60m Hurdles (W) Pentathlon
15:15   60m Hurdles (M) Pentathlon
15:45   High Jump (W) Pentathlon
16:00   Long Jump (M) Pentathlon
17:15   Shot Put (M) Pentathlon
18:00   60m (W) Heats
18:10   60m (M) Heats
18:15   Shot Put (W) Pentathlon
18:30   High Jump (M) Pentathlon
19:00   60m (W) Final
19:10   60m (M) Final
19:30   Long Jump (W) Pentathlon
19:30   600m (W) Heats
19:45   600m (M) Heats
20:00   4x200m Relay (W) Heats
20:20   4x200m Relay (M) Heats
20:45   1000m (M) Pentathlon
21:00   800m (W) Pentathlon

Friday, March 8

16:30   Weight Throw (M) Final
16:30   60m Hurdles (W) Heats
16:45   60m Hurdles (M) Heats
17:00   Long Jump (M) Final
17:00   Pole Vault (W) Final
17:00   1000m (W) Final
17:10   1000m (M) Final
17:30   60m Hurdles (M) Final
17:40   60m Hurdles (W) Final
17:50   300m (W) Heats
18:05   300m (M) Heats
18:30   3000m (W) Final
18:50   3000m (M) Final
19:00   High Jump (M) Final
19:00   Long Jump (W) Final
19:00   Shot Put (W) Final
19:40   300m (W) Final
19:50   300m (M) Final
20:00   4x800m Relay (W) Final
20:15   4x800m Relay (M) Final

Saturday, March 9

12:30   Triple Jump (W) Final
12:30   Pole Vault (M) Final
13:15   600m (W) Final
13:30   600m (M) Final
14:15   4x200m Relay (W) Final
14:25   4x200m Relay (M) Final
14:30   High Jump (W) Final
14:45   Triple Jump (M) Final
14:45   Shot Put (M) Final
14:45   1500m (W) Final
15:00   1500m (M) Final
16:00   4x400m Relay (W) Final
16:15   4x400m Relay (M) Final

CIS CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW

In the women’s competition, the Lancers are looking for a remarkable fifth consecutive team banner, which would tie their own CIS record set from 1992 to 1996. On the men’s side, the Mustangs are in a slightly different position as their triumph a year ago was the first in program history.

If the OUA championships held two weeks ago are a sign of things to come, both the Lancers and Mustangs are in tough in their quest to defend the national titles.

Competing on home turf, the Windsor women settled for fourth place at the OUA meet with 115 points. At the finish line, they trailed the Guelph Gryphons (148), Toronto (147) and Western (134).

The Western men didn’t fare much better as their 114-point tally was well short of first-place Guelph (175.5), and also left them behind Windsor (118.5). It marked the first-ever OUA title for the Gryphon men, who put an end to a 14-year stranglehold by Windsor.

Ontario schools have dominated at the national level in recent years, sweeping all 10 CIS team banners since Calgary (women) and Sherbrooke (men) triumphed in 2007. A year ago, OUA athletes claimed two thirds of the CIS gold medals (22 out of 34).

Guelph teammates Andrea Seccafien and Anthony Romaniw captured the OUA top performer awards for 2012-13. The Gryphon standouts tallied three gold medals apiece at the conference championships, Seccafien winning the 1500m and 3000m races and leading the 4x800m relay to victory, and Romaniw prevailing in the 600m, 1000m and 4x800.

Western teammates Caroline Ehrhardt and Taylor Stewart were selected OUA season MVPs in field events, while Toronto’s Alicia Brown and Windsor’s Matt Walters were honoured for their performances in track events. Ehrhardt (triple jump), Brown (4x400m) and Walters (1500m & 3000m) are all defending CIS gold medallists from a year ago.

Athletes from the three other CIS conferences also intend to shine in Edmonton.

At the recent Canada West championships held in Regina, the Calgary Dinos and Saskatchewan Huskies topped the women’s and men’s team standings, respectively. The Dinos finished the meet with a commanding 52-point lead over Trinity Western, while the Huskies prevailed with a 13-point cushion over Regina.

Trinity Western’s Emma Nuttall and Regina’s Kelly Wiebe were named top female and male performers following the meet. Nuttall, a native of Scotland, set a championship record in the high jump (1.85m), an event she won at the 2012 nationals, while Wiebe did the same in the 3000m race (8:06.87), eclipsing a 17-year-old meet mark.

The Canada West season awards went to Calgary teammates Jenna Westaway (women track) and Rachel Machin (women field), TWU’s Calum Innes (men track) and Regina’s Lex Ewen (men field).

In the Maritimes, there were no surprises in the team standings at the end of the AUS championships staged in Moncton as Dalhousie once again swept the banners. The Tigers dominated the women’s competition by 57 points and the men’s by 75, with StFX taking second place in both races.

UNB’s Sarah Myatt and Dalhousie’s Rob McCulloch were named meet MVPs. Myatt won the 600m and 1000m finals, while McCulloch successfully defended his pentathlon title with a championship record 3,729 points. He also medalled in the long jump (silver), high jump (silver) and shot put (bronze).

Moncton’s Alexa-Maude Mallais (women track), Dalhousie’s Elizabeth MacDonald (women field), StFX’s Connor McGuire (men track) and Dalhousie Simon Watts (men field) claimed the AUS season awards. Watts is the defending CIS champion in the triple jump.

Finally, in Quebec, the McGill Martlets edged Sherbrooke by 9.5 points in the women’s standings to put an end to the Vert & Or’s five-year reign, while on the men’s side, Sherbrooke easily distanced Laval, by 64.5 points, to retain the title.

McGill’s Alana Battiston and Sherbrooke’s Olivier Huet were honoured for their performances at the conference championships in Montreal (McGill). Battiston racked up six medals, including victories in the 60m hurdles and the pentathlon, the latter with a school record 3,515 points. Huet had four podium finishes, including gold in the pentathlon and triple jump.

Huet (men field) was also one of the RSEQ’s major award winners for the season. The other recipients were Laval’s Charles Philibert-Thiboutot (men track), Montreal’s Laurence Beaudet (women track) and Sherbrooke’s Audrey Bonneau (women field).

NOTES: The list of CIS season awards (female & male) which will be handed out at Thursday’s luncheon includes: athletes of the year in track events and field events, rookies of the year, student-athlete community service awards... More individual honours will come on Saturday following the championships, including female and male meet MVPs, as well as coaches of the year in women’s and men’s competition... The coaches of the year receive the Sue Wise Award (women) and Bob Boucher Award (men), while the male championship MVP merits the George Gemer Award.

CIS TEAM CHAMPIONS (last 10 years)

Women
2011-12 Windsor
2010-11 Windsor
2009-10 Windsor
2008-09 Windsor
2007-08 Guelph
2006-07 Calgary
2005-06 Windsor
2004-05 Saskatchewan
2003-04 Saskatchewan
2002-03 Saskatchewan
Complete list: PAST CIS CHAMPIONS

Men
2011-12 Western
2010-11 Windsor
2009-10 Guelph
2008-09 Windsor
2007-08 Guelph
2006-07 Sherbrooke
2005-06 Windsor
2004-05 Saskatchewan
2003-04 Windsor
2002-03 Windsor
Complete list: PAST CIS CHAMPIONS

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

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