We are the champions
Men’s track and field team finishes atop Canada West
Article: Brady Lang – Sports Writer
[dropcaps round=”no”]T[/dropcaps]he Cougars men’s track team put on quite a performance in Edmonton just two weeks ago at the Canada West Finals.
Nine Cougars left Edmonton with medals and will head back to the capital of Alberta this upcoming weekend for Nationals against the top teams from all over the country. Regina finished with a 16-point lead over second-place Victoria, and clinched their third title since 2010.
Cougars team member Arthur Ward was very proud of his teams’ accomplishments and said it was a dream come true of his. [Congrats from your fellow Carillon staff!]
“It feels good to become Canada West Champions,” said the third-year triple jumper. “It’s a dream come true – as cliché as it seems. Ever since I joined the team, I heard the stories of guys winning two years prior, winning back-to-back. We came really close in my rookie season, losing by just one point, so being able to taste it, but not having it in my hands. Ever since I joined the team, we’ve finished second and always losing out on that banner.”
After last year’s disappointment, Ward and the team knew what they had to do to get over the hump of being stuck in second-place for the past two years.
“Last year we were statistically – on paper – supposed to win, but the red shirts and the injuries didn’t help us so the guys on the team sort of just let it be this year and we came out with a banner,” he said.
Individually, Ward ended up placing second in triple jump with a jump of 14.15 metres, something he was extremely proud of.
“I was very satisfied with my performance,” said The Valley, Angullia product. “This year I was very interested in peaking at Canada West. Triple Jump is the only event I do and I wanted to maximize the amount of points I’ve gotten and I feel that realistically second place was the best I could do and luckily I got that on my last jump. My coach expected this from the beginning of the season and I was really happy that I was able to deliver.”
Fifth-year athlete Connor MacDonald’s performance was the one that put the Cougars through and onto the Canada West Championship said Ward. He and fellow fifth-year athlete Jeremy Eckert finished first and second in high jump with Eckert taking the gold.
“Hands down, Connor MacDonald [stepped up for us],” said Ward. “I will go out on a limb here and say that he’s the reason why we won. Connor has been injured most of the season and wasn’t able to compete. He showed up and was able to have three huge personal bests in his events and I just looked at him on his last jump, watching his gutsy performance and having that courage and confidence to show up like he did. We got a lot of points from [MacDonald].”
Even though the Cougars took the Canada West banner, Ward’s prediction of next week’s Nationals may surprise you.
“I may sound pessimistic, but realistically [the Cougars] winning nationals will take many resources that we don’t actually have,” said Ward. “It’s not impossible but it’s a stretch due to the small size of team we’re taking to nationals going up against teams like Windsor and Guelph who have sixty guys to a team, it’s tough. We’re going for a top five performance at nationals and we’re pretty much looking at breaking our all-time record for points at nationals this year. Right now the record is sitting at around 40 and we’re planning on getting 50 plus points at nationals.”
The women’s track team finished in sixth at the Canada West championships with 23 points, while Trinity Western took the title with 107 points.
The Cougars will now prepare for Edmonton and the CIS Championships where they will take on the best teams from all over the country.
[button style=”e.g. solid, border” size=”e.g. small, medium, big” link=”” target=””]Image: Arthur Ward[/button]