The Simon Fraser track and field team won an exciting event against UBC this past weekend, with the meet coming down to the last event. It was a great victory for the Clan as they battled through adversity to pull out the win.
“On paper, I didn’t think we would win this year. We had several people missing especially on the men’s side,” said coach Brit Townsend. “[But it’s] always exciting to beat UBC.”
Townsend said that it’s important to “be able to compare ourselves with people right here, [as] it shows people in the community the quality of our team.”
The women’s side made up for the men’s team being shorthanded. In the 100- and 200-metre sprints, Valda Kabia, Katherine Lucas, and Kira Pederson placed first, second, and third. Kabia won both events with respective times of 12.21 and 24.78 seconds.
Chantel Desch and Sophie Dodd took the top two spots in the 400-metre, with times of 55.76 and 56.31 seconds. Also taking the top two spots were Addy Townsend and Alanna Mussatto in the 800-metre, with times of 2:11.27 and 2:12.80.
Townsend’s victory comes shortly after being named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) indoor track athlete of the year. “She has the discipline of a high-level athlete,” said her mother and head coach on the announcement. “She’s made a breakthrough from last year, more as a competitor than physically, as a competitor she’s matured a lot.”
Also grabbing points on the women’s side was Paige Nock. She finished with a time of 4:32.44 in the 1,500-metre run, earning her third place.
For the men’s team, nobody stood out as much as Vladislav Tsygankov, who continued his excellent run of form as of late. In the long jump, he barely broke his previous record of 7.04 metres that he set in 2015, jumping 7.06 metres. He also barely broke the decade long record of 47.95 seconds in the 400-metres, running it in 47.94 seconds.
When asked about his recent performances and growth over the years, coach Townsend said, “He made an immediate impact when he came in, but it keeps just getting better and better.” He is more than just a superb athlete for the Clan, however, as “the leadership he shows in his work ethic and his discipline are great values for him to have.”
As Simon Fraser transitions into their outdoor season, Tsygankov is looking to push himself even further. According to coach Townsend, he is wanting to start competing in the 400-metre hurdles outdoors. As both an excellent 400-metre runner and jumper, coach Townsend said, “It will be exciting to see what he can do, he’s starting to hit the top of his form.”
Daniel Kelloway and Hameet Dhillon added points by finishing second and third in the 400-metre race, with times of 48.06 and 50.73 seconds. Combined with Nathan Mah’s efforts in the 100- and 200-metre sprints and Nathan Kyeame’s victory in the shot put, the entire meet came down to the last two races: the men’s and women’s 4×400-metre relay.
The women’s team of Mussatto, Dodd, Desch, and Townsend won easily with a time of 3:51.58. This set up the men’s team of Mah, Tsygankov, Dhillon, and Kelloway with a chance to win it all. After a close first two legs, Tsygankov gave the Clan a lead and Kelloway finished it off as the anchor. Their time of 3:16.10 was a meet record, but most importantly, gave the team the win.
Next Meet: The Clan will next travel to California to compete in the Stanford Invitational before the SFS Distance Carnival in San Francisco. They will be hoping to make some provisional standards for the NCAA as they kickoff their outdoor season.