Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – With the majority of teams treating the opening meet of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference indoor track season as a training race as they build towards the championship, times were well back of the conference records which have traditionally fallen during the MacEwan Invitational Running Room Grand Prix at the Kinsmen Fieldhouse.
On Saturday, it was about hitting splits and sharpening tactics, said MacEwan head coach Drew Carver.
"This is a training race," he noted. "We've set up game plans to run certain splits and then we look for a change in speed. All the girls had to run a relaxed pace and not worry about the competition.
"Usually, I've asked for the last three laps or last 500 metres to be really hard and I want to see a pace change. Almost all of the athletes executed that beautifully."
Even at a relaxed pace, the Griffins women's team dominated the meet, finishing atop the team standings with 85 points, well ahead of runner-up Red Deer College (48) and third-place finisher Lethbridge (31).
MacEwan's Ashley Tymkow, who won both the women's 3000 and 1000-metre races, was crowned the top female individual athlete at the meet, narrowly edging out co-runners up, Griffins teammates Ember Large (first in women's 600, second in 300) and Kiana Row (first in women's 1500, second in 3000).
"It's only my second year of actually racing (indoor track), so it's very different for me," said the Westlock, Alta. product. "I'm getting more into it now and I'm feeling more confident. This boosts the confidence and really shows that I do have it and I can run fast."
Concordia's Leonard Chesoo was crowned the men's individual champion after winning the men's 1000 and 1500 metres, followed by Red Deer College's Daniel Szucs (second in the 1500 and 3000) and Will Cebuliak (second in 1000, third in 1500).
RDC finished atop the men's standings with 67, ahead of runner-up MacEwan (41) and third place Concordia (29).
MacEwan topped the combined team standings with 126 points, followed by RDC (115) and Lethbridge (57).
New member Prairie College brought a contingent to its first ACAC race and netted three points on the men's side (Jordan Biggar, sixth in 300) and one in the women's competition (Heather Ritter, 10th in 3000) for a 10th-place team finish.