CW Track & Field Championships: TWU, Alberta win Canada West track titles

CW Track & Field Championships: TWU, Alberta win Canada West track titles

Canada West Communications

REGINA, Sask. – The University of Alberta defended its women's banner and Trinity Western won its first men's title in program history as the Canada West Track & Field Championships wrapped up on Saturday afternoon at the Regina Fieldhouse.

Trinity Western entered Saturday in fourth place in the team standings, but had a massive Day 2 to pull away from the rest of the competition. The Spartans scored a total of 61 points on the second day of the meet, just one fewer than second-place Alberta scored over the entire meet.

Though the Spartans had just one gold medal on Saturday – David Boyd's effort in the pole vault helped him hold off Manitoba's Brayden Posyluzny for first place in the pentathlon – the Spartans were all over the podium with six silver medals on Day 2, including second-place finishes in both the 4x200 and 4x400 relays. Nathaniel George (600-metre run), Stephen Humphrey (high jump), Maxime Leveille (pole vault), and Declan White (1500-metre run) all had silvers for TWU, while Aaron Postma added a bronze in the triple jump for the champions.

Alberta finished in second place with 62 points, while Day 1 leader Victoria ended up in third with 54.

Other Day 2 gold medals were won by Lethbridge's Aaron Hernandez (triple jump), Victoria's Tyler Smith (600-metre run), Alberta's Spencer Allen (pole vault), Regina's Tevaughn Campbell (60-metre dash), Lethbridge's Peter Millman (shot put), Manitoba's Alhaji Mansaray (high jump), and Victoria's Cole Peterson (1500-metre run). Saskatchewan and Alberta won the 4x200 and 4x400 relays, respectively.

Millman's gold medal was his second of the weekend, as he also won the weight throw on Friday. He led all athletes on the men's side with a total of 14 points accrued over the two-day meet.

On the women's side, Alberta had the lead heading into the second day of the meet and held off second-place Calgary to secure its second consecutive Canada West title and fifth in program history. The Pandas put away the win with three strong performances in the final session of the weekend. The 4x200 relay team finished first and the 4x400 team placed second, and in between those two races Nicole Soderberg won gold in the 1500-metre run. Bronze medals on Day 2 by Ashley Whiteman in the 600-metre run, Jessica Shannon in the high jump, and Grace Werner in the 60-metre dash all contributed to the Pandas' point total.

The Pandas finished with 104 team points and were only really challenged by Calgary, which finished with 85½ points. Calgary's Niki Oudenaarden was the top individual athlete at the entire meet, adding a gold medal in the high jump on Saturday to score a total of 27 points for the Dinos. Oudenaarden was also part of Calgary's 4x400 team that won gold, giving her a total of three gold medals and two silvers for the weekend.

Manitoba's Tegan Turner etched her name into the championship record book, running the 60-metre dash preliminaries in 7.43 seconds to break a mark set by Alberta's Leah Walkeden (7.47 s) two years ago. She was even faster in the finals, winning the event in a time of 7.42 seconds.

Other Day 2 women's gold medals were won by Saskatchewan's Jessica Buettner (weight throw), Victoria's Rachel Francois (600-metre run), and Regina's Joy Becker (triple jump).

The 2017 U SPORTS Track & Field Championships is the last event on this season's schedule. It will be hosted by the University of Alberta from March 9 to March 11.

Women's Team Standings
Alberta 104
Calgary 85.5
Saskatchewan 54
Trinity Western 48
Manitoba 47.5
Regina 37
Victoria 22
Lethbridge 11

Men's Team Standings
Trinity Western 80
Alberta 62
Victoria 54
Manitoba 53
Lethbridge 44
Saskatchewan 42
Regina 40
Calgary 34

CW award winners announced

Following the conclusion of the 2016-17 Canada West track and field championships in Regina, which saw the Alberta Pandas take the women’s title and TWU Spartans earn the men’s banner, the conference major award winners were unveiled in the Queen City Saturday night.

Among the biggest winners was Lethbridge’s Peter Millman, who captured gold in the weight throw and shot put over the weekend, and was awarded both the men’s field athlete of the year award, along with the men’s community service award.

A fifth-year veteran, Millman has spent countless hours during his time as a student-athlete giving back, spending time working on several mental health initiatives including Canada West’s partnership in this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day and the Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative. 

“It's such a great way for Peter to finish of his eligibility. Repeating as double gold medalist as well as field athlete of the meet is a fantastic way to finish his Canada West career,” said ‘Horns head coach Larry Steinke. “To have him named winner of the community service award and runner up for performance of the meet is icing on the cake.” 

On the women’s side, Morgan Lawley took home the community service award. The distance runner and medical student volunteers her time with several track and field programs, including the Westwood Community High School team in her hometown of Fort McMurray, Alta. During her undergraduate degree in Science, Lawley volunteered her time in hospitals, as well as community and university residences. 

Also earning awards Saturday were Calgary’s Niki Oudenaarden and Manitoba’s Rebekah Eckert.

Oudenaarden had an impressive weekend with gold in the pentathlon and high jump, as well as silver in the shot put and long jump. She was also part of the Dinos’ 4x400m team that won gold, to finish the weekend with five medals. The fifth-year veteran was named the women’s field athlete of the meet thanks to her impressive medal haul.

For Manitoba, Eckert took home the women’s rookie of the year award after claiming silver in the triple jump. 

Another fascinating storyline from the championships was two-time Olympian Carline Muir, who was honoured Saturday for the women’s performance of the meet. Muir, who joined the Alberta Pandas at the start of the season, broke the Canada West women’s record in the 300m with a time of 37.79 – just 0.10 faster than Ammon Nelson’s 2011 time of 37.89.

Along with Muir, fellow Alberta teammates Ashley Whiteman, Austin Cole, and Spencer Allen were also honoured for their efforts at the conference championships.

Whiteman was named the women’s track athlete of the year after silver in the 300m, bronze in the 600m, and gold in the 4x200m relay and bronze in the 4x400m. Cole was named conference rookie of the year after his silver medal performance in the men’s 300m. Allen rounded out the Green and Gold’s hardware haul, earning the men’s performance of the meet, following his gold in the men’s pole vault. 

Rounding out the men’s award winners was Victoria’s Cole Peterson – the track athlete of the year. Peterson, a fifth-year product of Edmonton, earned the award thanks to his gold in the 1500m and silver in the 1000m. 

2016-17 CW Men’s Track and Field Award Winners

Community service: Peter Millman, LET
Field Athlete of the Year: Peter Millman, LET
Track Athlete of the Year: Cole Peterson, VIC
Rookie of the Year: Austin Cole, ALB
Performance of the Meet: Spencer Allen, ALB

2016-17 CW Women’s Track and Field Award Winners

Community service: Morgan Lawley, ALB
Field Athlete of the Year: Niki Oudenaarden, CGY
Track Athlete of the Year: Ashley Whiteman, ALB
Rookie of the Year: Rebekah Eckert, MAN
Performance of the Meet: Carline Muir, ALB