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Huskies track and field held to one medal

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Huskies triple jumper Cossy Nachilobe finished fourth at nationals, just missing the CIS podium.
Huskies triple jumper Cossy Nachilobe finished fourth at nationals, just missing the
CIS podium.

The Huskies struggled against the nation’s best university athletes March 7-9 at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport track and field championships in Edmonton.

The Dogs walked away with only one medal, while the University of Calgary Dinos took home the women’s national banner and the Guelph Gryphons ran away with the men’s team title.

The Huskies’ lone medal came on the third and final day of the meet by way of the men’s 4×200-metre relay team. The squad snagged the bronze medal thanks to the effort of three rookie sprinters — Alex Fedyk, Ryan Graf and Tyler Young — and their veteran anchor Kyle Donsberger. They crossed the line in a time of 1:28.11.

Individually, Fedyk finished fifth in the men’s 300-metre dash with a time of 35.20.

Huskies men’s triple jumper Cossy Nachilobe placed fourth on the final day of competition with a leap of 14.41 metres, while Nolan Machiskinic finished ninth in the men’s shot put. Machiskinic’s throw of 15.12 metres was a season-best toss and was only centimetres shy of making the top eight, which would have granted Machiskinic three more throws.

“They all performed really well. Many performed season-best performances, and for being such a young team they all did really well,” Huskies head coach Joanne McTaggart said of the men’s team.

The men finished 10th in the national team standings out of the 21 squads that competed.

The women, despite leaving without a single medal, placed one spot higher than the men’s squad. The Huskies women finished with 23 team points, landing in ninth place out of the 22 competing women’s squads.

McTaggart noted that the women’s side might have done better had some of the athletes been healthier.

“Unfortunately we had a few athletes come up injured after Canada West and therefore didn’t score as high as we thought we would, especially on the women’s side,” McTaggart said.

Middle-distance runner Amanda Banks was among the injured. She was set to compete in four events at the national stage, but after running her first heat for the 600-metre race she re-aggravated a foot injury thought to have been sustained at the Canada West conference meet in Regina Feb. 22 and 23. Banks, who won gold in the conference 1000-metre and was an integral part of the women’s 4×800- and 4×400-metre races, was forced to bow out of her individual events.

Rookie Tye Buettner replaced Banks as an alternate in the women’s 4×400-metre relay. Buettner ran a personal best time in the replacement, but the squad could still only manage a fifth-place finish in Banks’ absence.

Katrin Ritchie and Michelle Young, both sprinters, were also sidelined due to injury.

“Without Ritchie, Young and Banks, who were three of our top track performers, the points just weren’t there,” McTaggart said. “We would have probably ended up in the top five, but you can never say…. Injuries are injuries and they happen.”

Women’s pole vaulters Courtney Erickson and Mignon Le Roux were healthy, and they finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Each of them cleared 3.45 metres.

Karla Gabruch ended in fifth spot in the women’s shot put with a throw of 12.69 metres while Morgan Sawatzky finished fifth in the 300-metre dash with a time of 39.66.

The women’s 4×800-metre relay team of Julene Friesen, Tye Buettner, Elecktra Charles and Brittany Elliott finished sixth, clocking in at 9:10.75.

Photo: Pete Yee

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