Championship preview: Track & field's finest aim for conference crowns in Queen City

Photo credit: Arthur Ward
Photo credit: Arthur Ward

Canada West Communications

Highlights:

  • The Saskatchewan Huskies (men’s) and Alberta Pandas (women’s) enter the two-day CW Championship meet – hosted by the University of Regina – looking to defend their 2015-16 conference titles
  • Several host Cougars are hoping to impress, as long jumper Joy Becker and 60m sprinter Tevaughn Campbell are among the favourites in their respective events
  • Action runs Friday, February 24 and Saturday, February 25 and can be seen live on Canada West TV

EDMONTON – Canada West’s top track and field athletes are headed to the Queen City this weekend, as the 2016-17 CW Track and Field Championships take over the Regina Fieldhouse on Friday and Saturday. 

COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

CHAMPIONSHIP RECORDS

Looking to defend their conference titles from a year ago are the Saskatchewan Huskies (men’s), and the Alberta Pandas (women’s).

Both conference banners marked returns to the top of the Canada West podium for each school, as the Huskies snapped a short two-year span without men’s conference gold, while Alberta’s victory was a long time coming. The Pandas victory in Saskatoon last February was their first conference crown since 1982-83. 

For Saskatchewan, only one returning CW individual gold medalist returns this season looking to help lead the Sled Dogs to a title defence, as distance runner Erik Wilding (3000m) hopes for both an individual and team repeat.

Lenny Williams is the only other Saskatchewan men’s gold medalists still in the fold, after helping the Huskies 4x400m relay team to victory last season.

By comparison, Alberta will have more gold in their arsenal this weekend, as Ashley Whiteman (300m), Paige Ridout (pole vault), and Jennifer Weber (4kg shot put) all return looking to repeat in their individual events. 

Along with their three individual medalists, the Pandas also return half of both their 4x200m (Rachel Rosin, Cassandra Grenke), and 4x400m (Rosin, Whiteman) gold medal relay teams from last season.

When it comes to host talent, Joy Becker leads the way for the Regina Cougars women’s team. The long jumper has already broken the Regina school record twice this season, with her top mark (6.29m) coming two weeks ago at the Golden Bear Challenge in Edmonton. 

In addition to Becker, another athlete to keep an eye on for the Cougars is former Rams football star and current Saskatchewan Roughrider Tevaughn Campbell. The 23-year-old is the reigning men’s 60m dash champion and is looking to cap off his Canada West career with a third consecutive 60m gold.

Rounding out the field for this weekend’s championships are the Calgary Dinos (3rd men’s, 2nd women’s at 2015-16 CW), Lethbridge Pronghorns (6th men’s, 6th women’s), Manitoba Bisons (4th men’s, 5th women’s), Trinity Western Spartans (4th men’s, 4th women’s), and Victoria Vikes (8th men’s, 8th women’s).

The entire 2016-17 CW Track and Field Championships can be seen live on Canada West TV by purchasing a day pass for $5 CAD.

 

Recent Canada West and national champions

MEN'S

SEASON (click for year in review) CANADA WEST CHAMPION (total CW titles won)
NATIONAL CHAMPION (titles won by CW schools)
2015-16 Saskatchewan (16)
Windsor
2014-15 Calgary (4) Windsor
2013-14 Calgary (3) York
2012-13 Saskatchewan (15)
Guelph
2011-12 Calgary (2) Western


WOMEN'S

SEASON (click for year in review) CANADA WEST CHAMPION (total CW titles won)
NATIONAL CHAMPION (titles won by CW schools)
2015-16 Alberta (4) Toronto
2014-15 Trinity Western (2) Toronto
2013-14 Trinity Western (1) Guelph
2012-13 Calgary (11) Calgary (4)
2011-12 Saskatchewan (18) Windsor

 

Team previews

University of Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas

2015-16 CW finish: 2nd (men’s), 1st (women’s)

2015-16 nationals finish: 11th (men’s), 4th (women’s)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2006 / 6 (men’s), 2016 / 4 (women’s)

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 2001 / 1 (men’s), 1985 / 1 (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 49 total (23 men, 26 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men:

Matthew Fritze – High Jump

Nathan Filipek – Pole Vault 

Women:

 Ashley Whiteman – 300m Dash

4x200m Relay Team (Rachel Rosin, Cassandra Grenke)

4x400m Relay Team (Rachel Rosi, Ashley Whiteman)

Paige Ridout – Pole Vault

Jennifer Weber – 4kg Shot Put

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown)

Men:

 Alexandre Bouferguene / 1500m / 1st / Edmonton, Alta.

Austin Cole / 300m / 1st/ Sherwood Park, Alta.

Thompson Weegar / 60m / 1st/ Prince Alberta Sask.

Women:

 Carline Muir / 300m Dash, 4x400m / 3rd / Toronto, Ont.

Brynn Blumhagen / 300m Dash / 1st / Forestburg, Alta.

Erika Pearson / Triple Jump / 1st / Red Deer, Alta.

 

Key performer:

Ashley Whiteman

2nd

Devon, Alberta

The reigning University of Alberta Female Rookie of the Year has been outstanding in her brief varsity career to this point. Whiteman captured three CIS medals in 2016, including gold in the 300m dash, after tallying two golds at the Canada West Championship last year. The Devon, Alta. native, who is ranked second in Canada in the 300m behind first-year Panda and former Olympian Carline Muir, gives the Pandas a legitimate shot at numerous Canada West medals, and successfully defending their first conference title in 33 years.

 

University of Calgary Dinos

2015-16 CW finish: 3rd (men’s), 2nd (women’s)

2015-16 nationals finish: 19th (men’s), 9th (women’s)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2015 / 4 (men’s), 2013 / 11 (women’s)

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 0 (men’s), 2013 / 4 (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 45 total (23 men, 22 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men: /

Women: Jenna Westaway – 600m, 1000m

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown)

Women:

Niki Oudenaarden (returning from injury) / Penathlon, High Jump, Long Jump /  4th / St. Albert, Alta.

Key performers:

Alex Gall

3rd

Calgary, Alta.

Gall is ranked No. 1 in 60m hurdles, and is the reigning CW silver medallist from a year ago.

Jenna Westaway

4th year

Calgary, Alta.

Westaway is ranked No. 1 in 600m, 1000m, and is the defending CW champion in both.

 

University of Lethbridge Pronghorns

2015-16 CW finish: 6th (men’s), 6th (women’s)

2015-16 CIS finish: 10th (men’s), 12th (women’s)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: /

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: /

 

Number of competitors: 30 total (16 men, 14 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men:

Peter Millman – Shot put & Weight throw

Aaron Hernandez – Triple Jump 

Women:

Sandra Latrace – Long jump

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown)

Men:

Sean Steacy / weight throw / 4th/ Lethbridge, Alta.

 

Key performer:

Peter Millman

5th year

Truro, NS 

Three-time Canada West Athlete of the year for field events, Peter Millman will look to cap his university career with his fourth consecutive sweep of the men’s throwing events. Millman has taken home the gold medal in both the shot put and weight throw events for three consecutive Canada West Championships and looks poised to continue this trend going undefeated in three events thus far this season.

 

Unversity of Manitoba Bisons

2015-16 CW finish: 4th (men’s), 5th (women’s)

2015-16 nationals finish: 12th (men’s), T14th (women’s) 

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2009 / 10 (men’s), 1996 / four (women’s)

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 1996 / 7 including co-championships (men’s), / (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 49 total (28 men, 21 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men and women: /

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown)

Men:

Miguel Morrison / 300m, 4x400 relay / 1st / Kingston, Jamaica

Gee-ef Nkwonta / triple jump, long jump / 4th / Winnipeg, Man.

Clement Sackey / shot put, weight toss / 2nd / Winnipeg, Man.

Women:

Emily Blackner / pole vault / 1st / St. Andrews, Man.

Rebekah Eckert / triple jump, long jump / 1st / Winnipeg, Man.

Madison Chapel / high jump / 1st / Pinawa, Man.

 
 

Key performer:

Eric Guy

3rd

Winnipeg, Man.

After a tough end to his 2015-16 season, when he could not compete at the CIS nationals due to an injury sustained at the 2016 conference championships, Bison third year multi-athlete Eric Guy has rebounded by posting some of his best career performances during the 2016-17 season.

Guy is currently ranked second in Canada West (fourth in U SPORTS) in men’s 60m hurdles, second in Canada West (tied for fourth in U SPORTS) in men’s high jump and second in Canada West (ninth in U SPORTS) in men’s long jump. He is also first overall in the nation in the men’s heptathlon. The Winnipeg native will compete in three events (hurdles, high and long jump) and has potential to medal in all three. He is expected to be a big contributor of points in the team standings for Manitoba.

  

Tegan Turner

3

Winnipeg, Man.

Bison third-year women’s sprinter Tegan Turner is poised for a big championships, as she has posted fast times throughout the 2016-17 track season. The Winnipeg native is second in Canada West (sixth in U SPORTS) in the women’s 60m and wants to jump on the podium as she narrowly missed out with a fourth place in the 300m race at the 2016 CW Championships. 

In addition, Turner anchors the top women’s 4x200m relay team in Canada West (fourth in U SPORTS) heading into Regina. The team was second last season and Turner seeks a gold in the relays this year.

 

University of Regina Cougars

2015-16 CW finish: 7th (men’s), 6th (women’s)

2015-16 nationals finish: 9th (men’s), 20th (women’s)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2011 / 2 (men’s), / (women’s)

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: /

 

Number of competitors: 42 total (19 men, 23 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men:

Kahlen Branning – 300-metre dash

Tevaughn Campbell – 60-metre dash

Greg Hetterley – 1000-metre run

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown)

Men:

Austin Strauss / 300 / 1st / Prince Albert, Sask.

Alex Eiswerth / 600, 1000, 1500 / 2nd / Regina, Sask.

Adam Schmidt / long jump / 1st / Regina, Sask.

Women:

Kyanna Giles / shot put / 1st / Winnipeg, Man.

Molly Yungmann / pentathlon / 1st / St. Gregor, Sask.

Paige Jeannot / triple jump, long jump / 1st / Regina, Sask.

Laura Huck / 300 / 1st / Medicine Hat, Alta.

Jules Hansen / long jump / 1st / Craven, Sask.

 

Key performer:

Joy Becker

5th 

Roblin, Man.

Simply put, Joy Becker is enjoying a sensational final U SPORTS season. She’s already broken her school long jump record twice in 2017, going 6.25 metres at the Golden Bear Open in January and 6.29 metres at the Golden Bear Challenge two weekends ago. But the long jump isn’t her only event, as she’s also ranked first in Canada West in the 60-metre dash with a season-best time of 7.54 seconds as well as second in the triple jump after her effort of 11.75 metres at the Golden Bear Challenge.

 

University of Saskatchewan Huskies

2015-16 CW finish: 1st (men’s), 3rd  (women’s)

2015-16 nationals finish: 6th (men’s), 7th (women’s)

Last CW championship / total CW championships: 2016 / 19 (men’s), 2012 / 21 (women’s)

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: 2005 / 5 (men’s), 2005 / 7 (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 41 total (19 men, 22 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men:

Erik Widing – 3000m

Lenny (Winston) Williams – 4X400m Relay

Women:

Astrid Nyame - hurdles

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown)

Men:

Karson Lehner / Sprints / 1 / Prince Albert, Sask. 

Women:

Leadan Chartier / Pole Vault / 1 / Saskatoon, Sask.

Courtney Hufsmith / Distance / 1 / Saskatoon, Sask.

 

Key performer:

Astrid Nyame

5th

Saskatoon, Sask.

Fifth-year Astrid Nyame will look to defender her 2016 gold medal in the 60-metre hurdles. Entering the weekend, Nyame is ranked second in the nation in the event. In 2016, she added a silver medal at the national championship.

 

Jessica Buettner

4th

Pharmacy

All-Academic Jessica Buettner has Canada West silver and bronze shot put medals on her resume.

 

Ryan Kowalchuk

5th

Saskatoon, SK

A veteran presence for the Huskie men, Ryan Kowalchuk will look to be a steady presence in the middle distances. Kowalchuck has won Canada West medals as part of 4X800metre relay teams. 

 

Trinity Western University Spartans

2015-16 CW finish: 4th (men’s), 4th (women’s)

2015-16 nationals finish: 16th (men’s), 8th (women’s) 

Last CW championship / total CW championships:  0 (men’s), 2015 / 2 (women’s)

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: NA / 0 (men’s), NA / 0 (women’s)

 

Number of competitors: 34 total (19 men, 15 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Women:

Regan Yee – 1500m

Mirelle Martens – 3000m

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown)

Men:

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.

Women:

Mowa Adeleye / 60m Hurdles, High Jump and Triple Jump / 1 / Calgary

Rachel Jerome / Long Jump and 60m / 1 / Ladysmith, B.C.

 

Key performers:

Women

Regan Yee

4th

South Hazelton, B.C. 

Yee has had an impressive start to her indoor season and enters the Canada West championships ranked first in the country in both the 1500m and the 3000m. The four-time Canada West medallist is the defending conference and national champion in the 1500m and the defending Canada West silver-medallist in the 1000m. Last year, she went on to win gold in the 3000m at the U SPORTS championships and bronze in the 1500m. She is scheduled to compete in all three events at this year’s conference championships.

Men

Nathan George

5th

Coquitlam, B.C.

Entering his final Canada West competition, George has a chance to medal in both the 300m and 600m. George has medalled in the 300m in each of the last three years, winning gold in 2014, silver in 2015 and bronze in 2016, but this year the defending U SPORTS champion in the 300m enters the conference meet ranked second in both the 300m and 600m. Last year, he finished seventh in the 600m. However, his season’s best this year is more than three seconds faster than his seventh-place time at last year’s championships.

 

Declan White

4th

South Surrey, B.C.

White comes into the conference championships ranked amongst the top four in each of the 1000m, 1500m and 3000m. As the top-ranked Canada West athlete in the 3000m, he is certainly the favourite to come away with gold, but if things go well for White, he has a chance to medal in all three events. Last year, he had an injury-plagued season and was nowhere near 100 per cent at the Canada West championships. This year, the three-time Canada West medallist, having earned a podium finish once in all three events, will be a threat to win every time he steps on the track.

 

University of Victoria Vikes

2015-16 CW finish: 8th (men’s), 8th (women’s)

2015-16 nationals finish: 13th (men’s), 17th (women’s)

Last CW Championship: / total CW championships: /

Last U SPORTS championship / total U SPORTS championships: /

 

Number of competitors: 22 total (15 men, 7 women)

 

Returning CW gold medalists

Men:

Tyler Smith – 4x800-m relay

Isaac Penner – 4x800-m relay

Thomas Oxland – 4x800-m relay

Brendon Restall – 4x800-m relay 

Women:

Andrea Robinson – 4x800-m relay

 

Key additions (name / event / eligibility / hometown) 

Men:

Brendan Hoff / 1000-m, 1500-m / 1st / Campbell River, BC

Chet Goerzen / 1500-m, 3000-m / 1st / Kelowna, BC 

Women:

Alyssa Mousseau / 600-m, 4x800-m relay / 1st / Nanaimo, BC

Elena Savidge / 4x800-m relay, 1000-m / 1st / Senneville, QC

 

Key performer: 

Cole Peterson

5th

Edmonton, Alta.

In his fifth and final year with the Vikes, Peterson is the leader of an experienced men’s team that thrives in the middle distance events. The native of Edmonton is a four-time medallist at the Canada West Championships and is ranked in the top-ten nationally in both the 1000 and 1500-metre events.