U SPORTS Track and Field Championships return to Edmonton

U SPORTS Track and Field Championships return to Edmonton

Connor Hood, Bears and Pandas Athletics

With files from U SPORTS Communications

EDMONTON - The Toronto Varsity Blues women and Windsor Lancers men will look to successfully defend their team banners this week at the 2017 U SPORTS Track and Field Championships, March 9-11 in Edmonton.

CHAMPIONSHIP WEBSITEClick Here

The three-day event, hosted for the ninth time by the University of Alberta, gets under way Thursday at 10 a.m. Mountain Time, with the U SPORTS Track & Field season awards.

The competition kicks off shortly after at the Universiade Pavillion with the first final, the women’s weight throw, set for 2:30 p.m. The national meet concludes Saturday afternoon with the 4x400m relays. A full schedule is below, with webcasting available at USPORTS.LIVE.

The host Alberta Pandas enter the national championship having won back-to-back Canada West titles, the second of which coming two weeks ago in Regina. The Pandas incerdibly earned points in every single track event in Regina, being led by the trio of Ashley Whiteman, Carline Muir and Nicole Soderberg. Whiteman, who is in her second season with the Pandas, has already established herself as one of the best short distance runners in Canada. Whiteman won four medals at the 2017 Canada West Championship, helping the Pandas win their second-straight conference title, while also being named the Female Track Athlete of the Year. Whiteman is ranked second in Canada in the 300m behind current teammate and two-time Olympian Carline Muir, and is the Canada West Nominee for the U SPORTS Female Track Athlete of the Year. 

Muir captured gold in that 300m event at the conference championships, setting a new conference record in the process. Muir, along with Whiteman, anchor the gold-medal winning 4x200m relay team, which is ranked No. 1 in Canada. Soderberg, meanwhile, is the Pandas best long distance runner, capturing three conference medals this season. The two-time University of Alberta Athlete of the Week won the 1500m race in Regina, and was also on the Pandas winning 4x800m relay team. The fifth-year Panda concluded the conference meet with a silver medal in the 1000m, an event in which she is ranked in the top ten in Canada. 

As for the Golden Bears, the Alberta men came up just short of their first conference title in Regina since 2006, placing second behind Trinity Western. Pacing Alberta to the podium finish was Male Performer of the Meet Spencer Allen and Rookie of the Year Austin Cole. 

Allen won the men's pole vault competition with a 5.09m jump, his best of the season. Along with Panda vaulter Paige Ridout, Allen is ranked in the top two in his discipline in Canada. Cole was also instrumental in the Golden Bears second place finish, earning a pair of medals in his first conference championship. The Alberta freshman placed second in the men's 300m dash, capturing a gold in the 4x400m relay. 

The Golden Bears and Pandas are led by two-time defending Female Track and Field Coach of the Year Wes Moerman. The Pandas narrowly missed the podium at last year's national championship, but were the highest Canada West team placing fourth behind Toronto, Guelph and Western. The Golden Bears finished 11th with 22 points, fourth among Canada West schools. 

Last year, Toronto and Windsor both repeated as U SPORTS champions at York’s Toronto Track & Field Centre, with the Varsity Blues earning 99 points and the Lancers tallying 93, both ahead of Guelph’s 85 (women) and 79.5 (men).


The Varsity Blues lead the women’s Top 10 heading into the national championship, but it is the OUA champion Gryphons – who swept both conference banners - that have a hold on top spot in the men’s rankings.

PAST U SPORTS CHAMPIONS

Key athletes to watch at the U SPORTS Track and Field Championships

CANADA WEST

Men’s Performer of the Meet
Spencer Allen, Alberta
Gold, Pole vault (5.09)

Men's Rookie of the Year
Austin Cole - Alberta
Gold, 4x400m Relay
Silver, 300m

Men’s Athlete of the Year – Track
Cole Peterson, Victoria
Gold, 1500m (3:52.97)
Silver, 1000m (2:27.48)

Men’s Athlete of the Year – Field
Peter Millman, Lethbridge
Gold, Weight throw (18.13m)
Gold, Shot put (17.54m)

Women’s Performer of the Meet
Carline Muir, Alberta
Gold, 300m (37.79)
Gold, 4x200m relay (1:39.63)

Women’s Athlete of the Year – Track
Ashley Whiteman, Alberta
Gold, 4x200m relay (1:39.63)
Silver, 4x400m relay (3:55.26)
Silver, 300m (39.64)
Bronze, 600m (137.72)

Women’s Athlete of the Year- Field
Niki Oudenaarden, Calgary
Gold, Pentathlon (4,202)
Gold, High jump (1.69m)
Gold, 4x400m relay (3:53.36)
Silver, Shot put (13.16m)
Silver, Long jump (6.00m)

OUA 

Men’s Performer of the Meet
Jack Sheffar, Western
Gold, 1500m (3:51.50) 
Gold, 3000m (8:20.58)

Men’s Athlete of the Year – Track
Sacha Smart, Toronto
Gold, 1000m (2:21.13)
Gold, 4x400m relay (3:16.61)
Silver, 600m (1:19.05)
Silver, 4x800m relay (7:40.27)

Men’s Athlete of the Year – Field
Jared Skeath, Guelph
Gold, weight throw (20.23m)
Silver, shot put (16.71m)

Women’s Performer of the Meet & 
Women’s Athlete of the Year - Field
Kaleigh Hole, Western
Gold, Pentathlon (3,834)

Women’s Athlete of the Year – Track
Joy Spear Chief-Morris, Western
Gold, 60mH (8.28)
Silver, 60m (7.50)
Silver, 4x200m relay (1:39.71)

RSEQ 


Men’s Performer of the Meet
Telvin Tavernier, Carleton
Silver, 60mH (8.86)
Silver, Long jump (6.52m)
Gold, Pole vault (4.50m)

Men’s Athlete of the Year – Track
Antoine Thibeault, Laval
Silver, 3000m (8:19.93)
Silver, 1500m (3:51.96)

Men’s Athlete of the Year – Field
Marc-Antoine 
Lafrenaye-Dugas, Sherbrooke
Gold, Shot put (16.84m)
Gold, Weight throw (3.51m)

Women’s Performer of the Meet
Aurélie Dubé-Lavoie, Laval
Gold, 1500m (4:35.30)
Gold, 4x800m relay (9:07.96)
Gold, 3000m (9:53.36)
Silver, 100m (2:54.48)

Women’s Athlete of the Year – Track
Émy Béliveau, Sherbrooke
Gold, 60m (7.42)
Gold, 300m (39.76)
Silver, 4x200m relay (1:42.92)
Gold, 4x400m relay (3:54.49)

Women’s Athlete of the Year- Field
Ariane Dubois, Sherbrooke
Gold, Weight Throw (17.22m)


AUS


Men’s Performer of the Meet
Alain Doucet, Moncton
Gold, Pole vault  (4.11m)
Gold, Heptathlon (4,370)

Men’s Athlete of the Year – Track
Mike Van der Poel, Dalhousie
Gold, 300m (34.96)
Gold, 4x200m relay (1:31.33)
Gold, 4x40m relay (3:27.58)

Men’s Athlete of the Year – Field
Jordan Bruce, Dalhousie
Gold, Long jump (7.35m)
Gold, Triple jump (14.83m)

Women’s Performer of the Meet
Sarah Myatt, Dalhousie
Gold, 600m (1:35.83)
Gold, 1000m (3:11.40)

Women’s Athlete of the Year – Track
Colleen Wilson, Dalhousie
Gold, 1500m (4:30.41)
Gold, 3000m (10:35.37)

Women’s Athlete of the Year- Field
Jennifer Bell, Mount Allison
Gold, Shot put (13.86m)


2017 CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (Livestream available at USPORTS.LIVE)

Thursday, March 9


10 a.m.                       

U SPORTS season awards (male and female Track and Field Athletes of the Year, Rookies of the Year, Student-Athlete Community Service Awards)

 
2:30 p.m.          Weight Throw (W)

3:00 p.m.          60m Hurdles (W) Pentathlon

3:15 p.m.            60m Hurdles (M) Heptathlon

3:45 p.m.           High Jump (W) Pentathlon

4:00 p.m.           Long Jump (M) Heptathlon

5:15 p.m.             Shot Put (M) Heptathlon

6:00 p.m.           60m (W) Heats

6:10 p.m.            60m (M) Heats

6:15 p.m.            Shot Put (W) Pentathlon

6:30 p.m.           High Jump (M) Heptathlon

6:45 p.m.          Opening Ceremony/Anthem                              

7:00 p.m.            60m (W) Final

7:10 p.m.            60m (M) Final

7:30 p.m.            Long Jump (W) Pentathlon

7:30 p.m.            600m (W) Heats

7:45 p.m.            600m (M) Heats

8:00 p.m.            4x200m (W) Heats

8:20 p.m.            4x200m (M) Heats

8:45 p.m.            800m (W) Pentathlon

 
Friday, March 10

2:00 p.m.        Weight Throw (M) Final

3:30 p.m.       60m (M) Heptathlon

4:30 p.m.       Pole Vault (M) Heptathlon

4:30 p.m.       60m Hurdles (W) Heats

4:45 p.m.        60m Hurdles (M) Heats

5:00 p.m.        Long Jump (W) Final

5:00 p.m.        High Jump (M) Final

5:00 p.m.        1000m (W) Final

5:10 p.m.         1000m (M) Final

5:30 p.m.        60m Hurdles (W) Final

5:40 p.m.        60m Hurdles (M) Final

5:50 p.m.        300m (W) Heats

6:05 p.m.        300m (M) Heats

TBD                 100m (M) Heptathlon

6:30 p.m.       Pole Vault (W) Final

6:30 p.m.       3000m (W) Final

6:50 p.m.        3000m (M) Final

7:00 p.m.        Long Jump (M) Final

7:00 p.m.        Shot Put (W) Final

7:40 p.m.        300m (W) Final

7:50 p.m.        300m (M) Final

8:00 p.m.       4x800m Relay (W) Final

8:15 p.m.         4x800m Relay (M) Final

 
Saturday, March 11

12:30 p.m.      Triple Jump (W) Final

12:30 p.m.      Pole Vault (M) Final

1:15 p.m.          600m (W) Final

1:30 p.m.        600m (M) Final

2:15 p.m.         4x200m Relay (W) Final

2:25 p.m.        4x200m Relay (M) Final

2:30 p.m.        High Jump (W) Final

2:45 p.m.        Triple Jump (M) Final

2:45 p.m.        Shot Put (M) Final

2:45 p.m.        1500m (W) Final

3:00 p.m.       1500m (M) Final

4:00 p.m.       4x400m Relay (W) Final

4:15 p.m.         4x400m Relay (M) Final

5:00 p.m.          Championship Award Presentations (male and female MVPs of the meet, Coaches of the Year)