T-Birds track and field in action from coast to coast


Vancouver, BC – The UBC Thunderbirds track and field team will make their presence felt as far East as NYC and as far west as Seattle this weekend. Four athletes will travel to the Big Apple for the Armory Invitational while a select few will take to the track at the University of Washington campus. 
The T-Birds will be sending a women’s 4x800m relay team to the 2015 Armory Track Invitational taking place in New York City this Saturday. In addition to the relay, the four athletes, including Devan Wiebe, Maria Bernard, Tamara Harris, and Natalia Hawthorn are entered in their respective individual events.
With the race going down at one of the most renown track facilities in North America, ‘The Armory,” teams including the University of Windsor, and Ottawa will race alongside UBC. Windsor came fourth at the 2013 CIS Indoor Track and Field Championships in the 4x800m relay while British Columbia are two-time defending NAIA outdoor champs in that event. The women’s 4x800m college relay is slated to begin at 12:44 p.m. PST
Bernard and Hawthorn are both entered in section four of the 3,000m, made up of predominantly Division I athletes, with the gun going off at 5:55 a.m. PST
In the individual events, Wiebe is in the seventh and final section of the college 800m, a field that includes fellow Canadian and Toronto Varsity Blue Gabriella Stafford. Stafford was the CIS Athlete of the Week for Jan. 14. Harris is slotted in section six, but that heat will be run considerably earlier in the day.
Due to the proximity of the events, it will be a race-time decision whether the athletes double that day or opt solely to race the relay. The following is a breakdown of the events in which UBC athletes are featured:
Saturday, January 31 (all times PST)
5:55 a.m. – Women 3000 Run College, Section 4 (Bernard, Hawthorn)
8:05 a.m. – Women 800 Run College, Section 6 (Harris)
11:00 a.m. – Women 800 Run College, Section 7 (Wiebe)
12:44 p.m. – Women 4×800 Relay College (Bernard, Harris, Hawthorn, Wiebe)
Meanwhile, a handful of athletes will be competing at the University of Washington Invitational, which spans two days starting Friday and concluding Saturday at the Dempsey Indoor Centre.
Justin Kent and Amelie de Fenoyl will contest the 5,000m on Friday evening and will be the lone UBC athletes competing in running events. Kent debuted his indoor season two weekends ago running 8 minutes and 9.45 seconds in the men’s 3,000m, as did de Fenoyl running 10 minutes flat in the women’s 3,000m distance.
A trio of multi-event athletes will compete this weekend as well, including Julia Hawkins in the women’s pentathlon and the duo of Mackenzie Koopmans and Michael Przystupa in the men’s heptathlon. Both the multi-event competitions kick off on Friday before wrapping up on Saturday.