OTTAWA (CIS) – The University of Windsor women and Western University men will look to defend the team banners later this week at the 2013 CIS indoor track and field championships, in Edmonton.
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 the University of Alberta, gets underway Thursday at 11 a.m. Mountain Time with the season awards luncheon at Lister Hall on the U of A campus.
The first final of the national meet, the women’s weight throw, follows shortly after, at 2:30 p.m. The championships conclude 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, or Butterdome, a facility that was built for the 1983 Summer Universiade (FISU world university games) and which recently received a major upgrade when a $1.5 million Mondo floor was installed in 2010, making it one of the premier track and field facilities in Canada.
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).
“The OUA championships were a perfect preparation for the CIS meet for us. Having the majority of our strongest competitors in the country battling in a two-day competition gave us an awesome set-up for the intensity of nationals,” said Guelph head coach Dave Scott-Thomas. “Strategically, the two meets are quite different, and just because we were successful at the conference level doesn’t mean we can take our foot off the gas one bit this week.
“I’ve been to Edmonton for meets many times over the years and know that the University of Alberta is going to put on a great show. U of A head coach Wes Moerman is a former Gryphon and was a great leader and athlete here at Guelph in my early years, so it’ll be nice to see a friendly face running the show. That makes me feel happy and old at the same time.”
Scott-Thomas’ colleagues from Windsor and Western, Dennis Fairall and Vickie Croley, hope their athletes can keep up with the OUA champs this week.
“Our women’s team is going after a record-tying five in a row but will be hard pressed to do so,” said Fairall, who has been named CIS women’s or men’s coach of the year in track and field a record 15 times. “We are looking for a podium finish and that would be considered a success. That said, anything can happen at the nationals as our women captured the title last year and that wasn’t expected.”
“We are more experienced than last year’s CIS championship team. A stumbling block for us is that the competition across the country as gotten better overall in several events,” Croley said. “We are very strong at the top end with athletes leading the rankings in four events and being ranked second in two more, and we also have five athletes ranked in the top six. I’m confident that these athletes will be ready to perform at their best. That is what is in our control. Based on the entries we are ranked behind Guelph and Windsor. Both are exceptional teams and we hope to keep the title race close. Last year we were seeded fifth going in, therefore we know from experience that that can change by the end of the meet.”
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)
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