Both on and off the track, the buzz was all about a job well done.
It was a chaotic Saturday at the first-ever Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Indoor Track Grand Prix held at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre but from those involved, it went off without a hitch.
To put a bow on the day, both the Kings and Queens captured overall team gold medals at the event on their home track, much to the delight of coach Kari Elliot, who was also the meet director.
“The times were good. It was a great competitive experience. The athletes were happy,” she said. “The venue hosted brilliantly. There was enough room for spectators. I think we will be doing it again.”
The Queens just narrowly took the title with 58 points at Grind Prix #2, winning by six points over the MacEwan University Griffins. They needed a victory in the last event of the day, the 4x200 metre relay, to secure the title.
The Kings, who also won Grand Prix #1 in January, wrapped up their title much earlier in the afternoon, finishing with 56 points, well ahead of the SAIT Trojans who were second with 37.
“We are really pleased to come out for the second meet and be as strong as the first,” said Elliott. “To have a bit more of a fuller representation from across the conference, it was a bigger challenge and I think we met it on home turf.”
RDC second-year runner Shayla Sklaruk posted a personal best in the 600m race with time of 1:38.30 and won the race by four seconds. In the 1000m, Sklaruk captured silver with a time of 3:12.09 and behind her was Queens teammate Sandra Garica-Bernal, who earned a bronze in time of 3:15.59.
Queens runner Bobbie Osborne also picked up, bronze finishing in 11:46.82 in the 3000m.
The Queens team of Shaelyn Moltzahn, Osborne, Sklaruk and Garica-Bernal also captured gold in the 4x200m relay in a combined time of 1:56.62. Lethbridge College Kodiaks were second and the MacEwan University Griffins were third.
On the men’s side, several Kings also posted personal best times on the way to medals. RDC’s Will Cebuliak earned silver in the 600m with a time of 1:27.17, two and a half seconds back of Concordia University of Edmonton star Leonard Chesco.
Kings third-year runner Stephen Rowley was victorious in the 1000m, winning the race in 2:42.41, just nine one-hundredths of a second ahead of SAIT’s Brant Lauweryssen.
Chesco also picked up a huge victory in the 1500m race, but a pair of Kings earned silver and bronze. Daniel Szucs finished in 4:23.91, just eight one-hundredths of teammate Devin Saunders who was in third.
Saunders added another medal earlier in the day, topping the field in the 3000m race with a time of 9:16.00. That had his coach excited, especially considering what they know about the track at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.
“People would say this track runs a bit slow and it’s a little bit squishy, it’s not as hard as the Butterdome or Kinsmen in Edmonton. Devin Saunders ran a personal best in the 3000 and 1500 metres. Particularly in the distance events, that’s difficult to do on this track. We’re pretty pumped about that,” Elliot said.
“In the 600, Shayla ran a PB and that also was a little bit unexpected.”
The Kings picked up their final medal of the afternoon in the 4x200m. Axsivier Lawrence, Carson Schiller, Cebuliak and Rowley capture silver in 1:40.15, two seconds behind the winning MacEwan University Griffins group.
Next up for the RDC Indoor Track team is the ACAC Championships on March 21 and 22 in Edmonton.