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Thunder Men Finish Second and Women Fifth at ACAC Indoor Track Champs

Posted on: Mar 2, 2015

The Thunder Indoor Track team wrapped up their season at the 2015 ACAC Indoor Track Championships this past weekend with the Men taking 2nd place overall and the Ladies grabbing the 5th spot. "It was a great weekend; lots of new personal or season's bests and plenty of Silver to take home," said Head Coach Matt Norminton. Up first on Friday night was the Ladies 3000m and Captain Marriya Jenkins – returning from injury – finished in 7th place to pick her team up 2 points and earn herself a season's best time along the way.  Then it was over to the men and Kirk Sundt did everything he could to beat out Lethbridge's Alex Harding but unfortunately, couldn't match Harding's pace over the final kilometer and had to settle for 2nd place, his first medal of the weekend.  Harding set a new ACAC Indoor and Championship record in the process.  Men's Co-captain Kevin Chambers finished in 11th position. The 2nd event of the night was the 300m and Thunder 300m Ladies record holder Kristina Dong finished in 10th spot, just missing out on the finals by less than a second.  Brynn deVries finished just behind her in 11th place in a new personal best.  Then it was over to the men who put 3 runners into the top 8 times in the heats with Co-captain Ben Thomas running the fastest qualifier of the day, followed by Kenton Sportak in 6th and Cornelius Koeman in 8th spot. Sportak ran a great race in the B final and then Thomas gave it his all in the A final, even throwing himself across the line at the finish, but ended up in 2nd place behind Alex Andres of Lethbridge.  Sportak finished in 6th place overall and Koeman was technically the 8th fastest man of the day but didn't qualify for the finals because only 2 athletes per school can compete in the finals. The 3rd event on Friday evening was the 1000m and the Thunder duo of Ana Zulic and Rachael Smillie both ran new personal bests to finish in 11th and 13th place, respectively.  In the men's 1k, rookie Michael Quick pushed the pace hard in the middle of the race but again the Thunder men found themselves not being able to keep pace with Harding from Lethbridge College.  Quick ended up in 5th, getting passed at the finish by teammate Chambers (4th place) who was doubling back after the 3k.  Both runners ran season's bests over the 1k distance.  Kirk Sundt also doubled back from the 3k to finish in 7th spot overall.
Saturday morning began with the 600m's and Shelby Edgar finished in 10th position and picked up a point for the Thunder Women's team.  Dong and Smillie also competed in the 600m and both ran new personal bests finishing in 14th and 18th place overall.  In the men's 600m, it was again Sportak and Thomas battling hard with Andres from Lethbridge but despite a super-fast last 100m by Thomas, the Thunder men again had to settle for 2nd (Thomas) and 3rd (Sportak).  Koeman also finished in 10th place, running as an insurance measure for the team but saving himself for the 4x400m relay. Then it was on to the women's 1500m and Captain Marriya Jenkins again picked up 2 points for the team by finishing in 7th spot.  Edgar doubled back to finish in 11th place while deVries and Zulic finished in the 14th and 15th spots, both claiming new personal bests in the process.  Sundt was out for revenge in the men's 1500m and took the pace out hard but just couldn't break Harding and again had to settle for 2nd place.  Chambers and Quick replicated their 1k places again (4th and 5th) with Chambers picking up a season's best time. The final event of the weekend was the 4x400m and the women's team composed of Kristina Dong, Rachael Smillie, Brynn deVries and Shelby Edgar finished in 5th place, earning the team another 4 points.  The Thunder men (Thomas, Quick, Koeman and Sportak) – who were hoping to defend their title from 2014 – unfortunately could not hold off the two Alex's from Lethbridge and ended up in 2nd place overall.  Both teams broke the previous Championship record so it was a very exciting race. "It was a great weekend of racing and I'm extremely proud of how our guys and girls competed," stated a jubilant Coach Norminton.  "We have nearly everyone from both teams returning next year so both Cross Country and Indoor Track should be great teams for us again next year!" said Norminton. 
A few of the Thunder runners will compete at the Alberta Indoor Track and Field Championships this coming weekend and then again at the Running Room Indoor Games the following weekend.
Congratulations Thunder…well done!