The Red Deer Titans track and field club was relatively unknown when they started competing earlier this summer.
By the end of the Calgary Summer Finale last weekend, there was a line of coaches outside the Red Deer Titans looking to talk to athletes about their future plans.
With nine athletes, the Titans put together an impressive performance, collecting 204 points in the 17 and under combined team score, almost 50 clear of the next highest club for a first-place finish among the 23 teams at the meet.
In the 17-year history of the event, no team from outside Calgary or Edmonton has captured the team title.
“We went from, what are the Titans to how do we get these athletes on our team,” joked Titans coach Max Legault on Wednesday.
Red Deer’s Jamie Debruijn was the top individual athlete, with 46 points including a win in the discus, second place in the 200 metre, javelin and discus, as well as third-place finishes in both 100m and 400m.
His teammate, Paige Zinger was the top female with 44 points, winning the girls’ U16 high jump and long jump and finishing second in the 200m, javelin and 100m. Titans’ Jade Cullen tied for fourth with 34 points. Cullen won the women’s discus and was second in shot put and hammer throw.
Legault, who has been a track and field coach at a variety of spots around the country, arrived in Red Deer a few years ago and was looking to get his young daughter involved in the sport. He found the Titans and quickly got into the coaching side of things.
“We went through a lot of transition over the last few years with our club. Brand new coaching staff, brand new board members and all new athletes. Just complete overhaul basically of the whole program,” said Legault, who noted the club had about 40 athletes for the outdoor season.
The club wrapped up its outdoor season this week and will transition to the indoor season in October. They’ll compete six times in the first three months of 2022, which wraps up with Alberta indoor provincials. Down the road, Legault hopes to see some of the local athletes competing on the national stage.
“We’ve got a number of athletes in the U18 category, their goal is to first get a national standard and second get a really good placing at nationals in the upcoming year,” Legault said.