The SFU track and field team travelled to the Hillsdale Classic for the first time this past weekend, bringing 12 athletes that had made provisional standard. “It was a last-minute decision for us to go there,” said coach Brit Townsend, citing the track conversions on the smaller track as a reason for going (all times in this article will factor the track conversions). The decision certainly seemed to be a good one, as Simon Fraser performed admirably.
Daniel Kelloway had a standout performance, as he ended up winning the 400-metre and had a meet record with a time of 47.95 seconds. It was the senior’s fastest time of the season, as he fell just short of qualifying for nationals. Joel Webster improved his time in the 400-metre as well.
In the women’s sprints, freshman Katherine Lucas continued to impress. She improved her times in both the 60-metre and 200-metre sprints, finishing with a personal best in the 200-metre with a time of 24.78 seconds.
Addy Townsend was spectacular, as she won the 800-metre with a personal best time of 2:10.27 seconds. She is ranked eighth in the nation and is now qualified to compete in nationals.
Also placing first was the men’s 4×400-metre relay team, finishing with a provisional-mark-shattering time of 3:16.88. The team consisted of Nathan Mah, Joel Webster, Daniel Kelloway, and Vladislav Tsygankov.
Tsygankov also competed in the long jump, finishing with a season-best jump of 7.07 metres. A very impressive performance, especially when considering the training conditions for Tsygankov and the rest of the Simon Fraser track and field team.
Due to the snow, Simon Fraser’s training has been everything but traditional. When coach Townsend was asked how these conditions have affected the team, she responded with, “It’s frustrating for sure, a couple weeks ago we spent hours and hours shoveling the track.”
With the snow coming again recently, the team has trained by “treadmills, parking lots, bikes, ellipticals, everything that we can do,” said Townsend. Jumpers like Tsygankov have been unable to jump into a pit for months. “We thought that was gone, now we’re going into the most important part of the season and the snow is back.”
Even in these less-than-ideal conditions, coach Townsend motivates her team. “My message to them is to believe in their strength, to be positive, and to learn to adapt to adversity because it will make them stronger.”
All things considered, this event must be seen as encouraging for the Clan. After competing in this event for the first time, it is now “something that we’ll definitely consider for next year,” said coach Townsend.
The Clan will next travel to Washington to compete in the Husky Classic meet on Friday, before the conference meet next Wednesday. Coach Townsend is very excited about the women’s team saying, “We could place higher than we’ve ever placed at the conference.”