by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
There’s no place like home, if you are members of the Windsor Lancer’s track and field team that is.
The Lancers will be competing in their annual Team Challenge track meet over two days at St. Denis Centre Feb. 13 and 14.
With only two weeks prior to the OUA championships in Toronto, many members of the Lancers track and field team looked for some final tune up meets before their season is on the line in front of the provinces best.
This past weekend showcased all the Lancer’s had to offer as they were very successful at the Hillsdale Wide Track Classic meet in Hillsdale, MI. Overall, the Lancers collected 18 medals and set four meet records while also qualifying four more athletes for the CIS Championships to be hosted by the University of Windsor at the St. Denis Centre from March 12 to 14.
Windsor’s Alex Ullman broke a meet record during his gold medal performance in the men’s 800-metre race. Ullman’s time of 1:50.09 qualified him for the national championships while teammate Corey Bellemore set a new meet record when he finished first in the men’s mile race with a time of 4:08.42. Matt Brisson also placed first in the men’s 60-metre hurdles while Matt Travaglini captured gold in the 3,000-metre.
In the women’s 3,000-metre race, Windsor’s Stefanie Smith won gold and set a new meet record at the same time, crossing the finish line at 9:47.64. Smith said the race didn’t go as well as she had planned and there were spots in the race where she could’ve been tougher.
Smith said she is excited for the upcoming Team Challenge because it always provides a great atmosphere.
“It’s a great way to start getting people pumped up about OUA’s in a couple weeks,” said Smith. “I’m excited to race at home this weekend. Sometimes I can’t even hear the official say how many laps are left because its so loud in there. It’s a really awesome atmosphere to run in.”
Although the meet will be enjoyable, Smith said she has some specific goals in mind to meet this weekend.
“I’d really like to try and get the CIS auto standard in the 1500 and just race it hard,” said Smith. “It’s always nice to get a feel for the track and try and get as comfortable as possible [prior to CIS championships in Windsor].”
Jenn Tomayer won the women’s pole vault at Hillsdale with a personal best vault of 3.90-metres while Sarah Swain took the women’s 60-metre hurdles gold medal. Swain, who also competes in pole vault, said she was happy with her performance at Hillsdale and is looking forward to competing at Windsor’s home venue.
“[My performance] wasn’t a personal best or season best,” said Swain. “However, my hurdle times were consistent and so was the height I vaulted so I’m pretty confident I’ll see some improvements. It is always nice to compete at home, it reduces some of the stress of travelling and being at a new track and allows me to focus on my events more.”
The Team Challenge will begin with the entire pentathlon begin Feb. 13 with the remainder of the meet concluding Feb. 14.