LANGLEY, British Columbia – Trinity Western’s men’s and women’s track and field teams will open their championship seasons this weekend in Regina as the Spartans will compete in the Canada West championships Friday and Saturday.
Canada West Championships
Friday, Feb. 24 – at Regina – 12 p.m. (PT)
Saturday, Feb. 25 – at Regina – 9 a.m. (PT)
The Spartans men’s team enters the conference championships as the favourite to win it all, which would mark an historic first for the program. With a veteran core leading the way, the Spartans are ranked first in Canada West coming into this weekend. After the men’s team won its first Canada West cross country championship in program history last fall, TWU will be looking to complete the rare conference double. The last team to win both the cross country and track and field banners was Regina in 2009-10.
Leading the Spartans will be the likes of Nathan George (Coquitlam, B.C.), Declan White (South Surrey, B.C.) and James Linde (Coquitlam, B.C.). Between the three of them, they are schedule to compete in eight individual events and are capable of medaling in each of them.
The fifth-year George enters the meet as the defending national champion in the 300m and will be looking for an individual double as he is set to also compete in the 600m. He is ranked second in the conference in both events.
White, who is in his fourth year, is in fine form heading into this year’s conference meet and looking to put a stamp on Canada West after injuries hampered his 2016 season. Amongst Canada West athletes, he is ranked first in the 3000m, second in the 1500m and fourth in the 1000m.
Like George, Linde will be competing in his final Canada West meet and has medal potential in the 60m (ranked 2nd in Canada West) and long jump (5th). He could also be a dark horse in the 300m as the 200m star enters the competition unranked because he hasn’t ran a 300m race this season.
Beyond the aforementioned trio, the Spartans veteran talent also includes Joel De Schiffart (Nanaimo, B.C.), who could be a threat in the 1500m and 3000m, Calum Innes (Bearsden, Scotland), who is a four-time Canada West champion in the 60m hurdles and is back after missing last year’s competition, and Stephen Humphrey, who is ranked fourth in high jump.
The first-year jumping duo of Aaron Postma (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Denzel Brown (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) are also making some serious noise in both the triple and long jump, while fellow freshman Maxime Leveille (Shefford, Que.) is ranked second in pole vault coming into the weekend.
TWU’s relays could also be in the mix as the 4x800m team is ranked first in the conference while the Spartans have the ability to push for a podium finish in the 4x200m.
The Spartans women’s team will once again deploy one of the best middle distance contingents in the country. Led by Regan Yee (South Hazelton, B.C.) and Lisa Brooking (Orillia, Ont.), the Spartans will be a threat to top the podium in all three of the 1000m, 1500m and 3000m.
Yee has taken another huge step in her development this season and is currently the top-ranked runner in U SPORTS in both the 1500m and the 3000m. She also recently broke TWU’s 800m record with a time of 2:07.97, proving that she has the speed to compete in the 1000m.
Brooking comes into this weekend’s meet ranked second in Canada West in the 3000m and fourth in the 1500m. While Brooking’s main training focus this spring is for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, she will be right there with Yee leading TWU on the track this weekend.
Beyond TWU’s veteran duo, Spartans first-year Mowa Adeleye (Calgary) looks primed to put her mark on the conference meet as she could be in the mix for a medal in high jump (she is ranked 3rd in Canada West), 60m hurdles (4th) and triple jump (4th).
In the pole vault pit, Kirsten Dunford (Bellingham, Wash.), who has a personal best of 4.13m, has found her form in recent weeks and with a season’s best clearance of 3.85m, she is ranked fourth in the conference. Fellow vaulter Maddy Evans (Calgary) could also be one to watch as she has a personal best of 3.81m. She has cleared 3.68m so far this year.
TRINITY WESTERN UNIVERSITY | BY THE NUMBERS
Men’s Team Ranking: CW – 1st | U SPORTS – 11th
Women’s Team Ranking: CW – 6th | U SPORTS – 8th
2016 Canada Rest Finish: 4th (men’s), 4th (women’s)
2016 U SPORTS Finish: 16th (men’s), 8th (women’s)
Last Canada West Championship / Total Canada West Championships
Women: 2015 / 2
Men: NA / 0
Number of Competitors
34 total (19 men, 15 women)
Returning Canada West Gold Medalists
Regan Yee – 1500m
Mirelle Martens – 3000m
Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown)
Denzel Brown / Triple Jump and Long Jump / 1 / Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Maxime Léveillé / Pole Vault / 1 / Shefford, Que.
Aaron Postma / Triple Jump and Long Jump / 1 / Abbotsford, B.C.
Mowa Adeleye / 60m Hurdles, High Jump and Triple Jump / 1 / Calgary
Rachel Jerome / Long Jump and 60m / 1 / Ladysmith, B.C.