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Cougars continue success on the track

Joy Becker takes flight./ Arthur Ward
Joy Becker takes flight./ Arthur Ward

The track and field team raked in the medals this past weekend

The University of Regina’s men’s and women’s track and field teams continued their successful run at the Canada West Championships in Winnipeg over the weekend.

On the men’s side, Tevaughn Campbell struck gold for the second time at the Canada West Championships in the 60M dash with a time of 6.82 seconds. Matt Johnson added to the U of R’s medal haul with his 3000 meter win, while Ahmed Alkabary and Lex Ewen added to the team’s totals with first and third place finishes in the men’s long jump, respectively. All this added up to a sixth place finish for the team in the final standings.

On the women’s side, it was a historic day for a number of those who donned the Cougar colours. Merissa Margetts broke the school record in the 60M hurdles, Joy Becker became the first female U of R athlete to jump over 6 meters at a meet, and the 4x200M relay team took home the bronze in a record-breaking time of 1:40.46, meeting the CIS standard in the process. Elisabeth Fortier (weight throw) and Adrea Propp (300 and 600M) added three more medals to the cause, good enough for an overall finish of fifth at the conclusion of the event.

This wasn’t the only big event for the Cougars this season. They also went to Seattle to compete in the UW Indoor Open! 

Merissa Margetts, a kinesiology major in her last year of eligibility, was a big reason for the team’s success. She won gold in the 60M hurdles (with a U of R record-mark of 8.55 seconds, no less) as well as adding a bronze in the 60M dash to go along with the team’s historic bronze medal performance in the 4x200M dash.

She credits her mental preparation as a large part of her medal winning performance.

“I tried not to overthink this year, everything I’ve changed with, say, my block start in hurdles, I’ve made sure to make those changes at practice, so that when I get to the competition, I’m just not thinking about it. So my body is just naturally running.”

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Three thousand meter winner Matt Johnson, in an interview with the Carillon’s own Marketing Manager Arthur Ward, detailed the race from start to finish. The fifth-year Johnson, in the second-last meet of his CIS career, came away with gold.

“Right off the start, I’ve got to relax into this, ride the rails, wait it out, don’t do any work until when you wanna go. So, I was going around, everyone’s kind of I think, had the same idea…. I was just going right into the corner… I think I threw about a thirty-second lap in… I kept hammering and hammering; all of a sudden, I was like, there’s the bell, last lap. Maybe one hundred left a little bit more and they were like ‘you gotta go’… I came to the line, did a little look back… all those practices for celebrations, I could finally use them.”

In fact, the success of the more senior athletes was a running theme at the meet. Three of the four runners for the bronze medal-winning women’s 4x200M relay team (consisting of Becker, Propp, Margetts, and Kelsey Bohachewski) are in their fifth and final seasons of eligibility. When asked about the contributions of the team’s fifth-year athletes, coach Bruce McCannel can do nothing but sing their praises.

“With the fifth-year kids, they’re fantastic people, they’re amazing teammates, and they’re people I could talk forever about.”

When asked for his personal meet highlight, McCannel highlighted the aforementioned Propp and her phenomenal championship performances.

“Adrea Propp is probably the biggest highlight of the meet for me. She’s a fifth-year girl who hasn’t had a CanWest individual medal before. She has relay medals, but she didn’t have an individual one and she won the three hundred, came back the next day, got second in the 600, and then got third in the 4×2 and then contributed on the 4×4 as well. So, she just had an outstanding weekend. It was truly impressive.”

Carillon Technical Editor Arthur Ward was able to catch up with Propp, Johnson and others from the Track and Field team at the Canada West Championships. Check out his coverage and actions shots of the meet!

Says Margetts of the veteran-laden relay team’s success, “I was on the team in my second year when we broke [the record], and that was a great feeling. But, to break it this weekend, it felt so much more rewarding ‘cause we all, we work really hard and I’ve ran with those girls now for three years, and to finally have everything go right in a race, that was great. We’ve had a lot of problems with handoffs, or running into other teams. You know, we had a clean race and we saw the results of it.”

The team’s male counterparts, in particular, can identify with the problems that can come with running in a relay. They were part of a near collision, a tough situation for any team, and one that cost them dearly.

However, the soon-to-be graduates were not the only ones making noise at the meet. Third-year athletes Joy Becker and Elizabeth Fortier made their presence known with their silver medal finishes.

And so, it is on to Windsor, Ontario for the CIS meet, taking place on Mar. 12-14. With a number of athletes included in the CIS top ten, and with both the women and the men ranked twelfth in the nation (as of Mar. 2), chances are good that those representing the U of R will come away with some hardware.

Margetts offers her own personal approach going into the CIS meet, worthy advice for all of the participants, especially those in their final year of eligibility.

“I just want to run better times. You know, coming out with a medal would be awesome. But, no, if I go into the championships, and I run as hard as I can, and I come out with personal bests, I’ll be extremely happy to end my career on that note.”

Her coach, Bruce McCannel, had this to say on the topic, “I think what I would tell the whole group going to CIS is to not limit themselves by what they’re ranked going in, because I believe the team we’re bringing is extraordinarily competitive” a team that he says is “capable of bringing home a number of medals.”

About John Loeppky

I am an athlete with a writing problem, or a writer with a sports problem, you decide. When I’m not editing, playing wheelchair sports, or advocating for the disabled, you can find me de-stressing with friends.