By Вen Li
That’s the only word that can describe the Dinos women’s first place victory at the Canada West track and field meet Feb. 22.
"Our men were slated to be fourth and garnered third," said assistant coach Doug Lamont. "The women went in favoured to win. They did a good job and won."
The women’s victory was sweetened by the fact that the rivalling University of Saskatchewan Huskies have toted a back-to-back national championship titles to their Canada West competitions this year. There were strong individual efforts from athletes like Amy Barnett and Jessica King, who garnered first and second place respectively in the 300 m. Their performances, along with the sixth-placed Michelle Romance, helped smite Saskatchewan in the Canada West.
These women will be joined by the first-ranked triple-jumper Candice Laverty as they head into the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship Mar. 8–9 at Sherbrooke, P.Q., ranked third in the country behind two Ontario schools-Toronto and Western. With a number of athletes poised for the podium, including Barnett, King and the Canada West Track Athlete of the Year Samantha Anderson, this team has the ability to win it all.
A lesser degree of domination earned the men a third place finish at last weekend’s conference showdown.
"Darren Clarke won two events, the 300 m and 600 m. His 300 m performance was selected as the male performance of the meet," said Lamont.
Clarke’s time of 0:34.04 places him second in Canada West and qualifies him for the CIs along with both the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 men’s relay teams who placed second and sixth respectively. Shotputter Ryan Thomsen, high-jumper Jay O’Lain and 60 m hurdler Trevor Phillips will also continue on to CIS while a disappointed Nathan Kendrick will stay behind with ninth and eighth place finishes in the 1,500 m and 3,000 m respectively.
"At CIs, we just need to show up and compete at the same level as we did at Canada West. Our goal for the women at CIs is top three," said Lamont who noted that second consecutive victory for the lady Dinos is impressive for such a young team.
"They’re going to be together for at least another year or two and if we have some young recruits coming in, the women can be winning Canada West for a long time."