PREVIEW CIS track & field championships: Windsor women aim for record, Western men look to repeat

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Photo credit Edwin Tam

OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Windsor women and WesternUniversity men will look to defend the team banners later this weekat the 2013 CIS indoor track and field championships, inEdmonton.

Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/trackfield/index
Complete national rankings (individual and team): http://sportingcanada.com/tf/

The three-day event, hosted for the first time since 1994 by theUniversity of Alberta, gets underway Thursday at 11 a.m.

MountainTime with the season awards luncheon at Lister Hall on the U of Acampus.

The first final of the national meet, the women’s weightthrow, follows shortly after, at 2:30 p.m. The championshipsconclude Saturday afternoon with the always exciting 4x400m relays.Selected events will be webcast live daily at www.CIS-SIC.tv.

The competition will take place in the University Pavilion, orButterdome, a facility that was built for the 1983 SummerUniversiade (FISU world university games) and which recentlyreceived a major upgrade when a $1.5 million Mondo floor wasinstalled in 2010, making it one of the premier track and fieldfacilities in Canada.

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

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

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

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

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

“The OUA championships were a perfect preparation for theCIS meet for us. Having the majority of our strongest competitorsin the country battling in a two-day competition gave us an awesomeset-up for the intensity of nationals,” said Guelph headcoach Dave Scott-Thomas. “Strategically, the two meets arequite different, and just because we were successful at theconference level doesn’t mean we can take our foot off thegas one bit this week.

“I’ve been to Edmonton for meets many times over theyears and know that the University of Alberta is going to put on agreat show. U of A head coach Wes Moerman is a former Gryphon andwas a great leader and athlete here at Guelph in my early years, soit’ll be nice to see a friendly face running the show. Thatmakes me feel happy and old at the same time.”

Scott-Thomas’ colleagues from Windsor and Western, DennisFairall and Vickie Croley, hope their athletes can keep up with theOUA champs this week.

“Our women’s team is going after a record-tying fivein a row but will be hard pressed to do so,” said Fairall,who has been named CIS women’s or men’s coach of theyear in track and field a record 15 times. “We are lookingfor a podium finish and that would be considered a success. Thatsaid, anything can happen at the nationals as our women capturedthe title last year and that wasn’t expected.”

“We are more experienced than last year’s CISchampionship team. A stumbling block for us is that the competitionacross the country as gotten better overall in severalevents,” Croley said. “We are very strong at the topend with athletes leading the rankings in four events and beingranked second in two more, and we also have five athletes ranked inthe top six. I’m confident that these athletes will be readyto perform at their best. That is what is in our control. Based onthe entries we are ranked behind Guelph and Windsor. Both areexceptional teams and we hope to keep the title race close. Lastyear we were seeded fifth going in, therefore we know fromexperience that that can change by the end of the meet.”

Guelph teammates Andrea Seccafien and Anthony Romaniw capturedthe OUA top performer awards for 2012-13. The Gryphon standoutstallied three gold medals apiece at the conference championships,Seccafien winning the 1500m and 3000m races and leading the 4x800mrelay to victory, and Romaniw prevailing in the 600m, 1000m and4x800.

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

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

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

Trinity Western’s Emma Nuttall and Regina’s KellyWiebe were named top female and male performers following the meet.Nuttall, a native of Scotland, set a championship record in thehigh jump (1.85m), an event she won at the 2012 nationals, whileWiebe did the same in the 3000m race (8:06.87), eclipsing a17-year-old meet mark.

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

In the Maritimes, there were no surprises in the team standingsat the end of the AUS championships staged in Moncton as Dalhousieonce again swept the banners. The Tigers dominated thewomen’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 werenamed meet MVPs. Myatt won the 600m and 1000m finals, whileMcCulloch successfully defended his pentathlon title with achampionship 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’sConnor McGuire (men track) and Dalhousie Simon Watts (men field)claimed the AUS season awards. Watts is the defending CIS championin the triple jump.

Finally, in Quebec, the McGill Martlets edged Sherbrooke by 9.5points 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 thetitle.

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

Huet (men field) was also one of the RSEQ’s major awardwinners for the season. The other recipients were Laval’sCharles Philibert-Thiboutot (men track), Montreal’s LaurenceBeaudet (women track) and Sherbrooke’s Audrey Bonneau (womenfield).

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

CIS TEAMCHAMPIONS (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

2013CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (selected events webcast dailyatwww.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-

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