The top university track and field athletes will head to Edmonton this week, as the Golden Bears and Pandas host the 2020 U SPORTS Track and Field Championship, March 5th to 7th at the Universiade Pavilion (Butterdome).
The national championship will get underway with events on Thursday, March 5th at 2:00 p.m., and conclude with the awards ceremony at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday night.
FULL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
This is the second time in four years the University of Alberta has hosted the U SPORTS Championship, with the Pandas finishing fourth, and the Bears sixth in 2017 at the Pavilion.
The 2020 Pandas are fresh off a third-place team finish at the Canada West Championships in Saskatoon, with the Bears placing fifth. The Alberta women also enter the national championship ranked fifth in Canada.
The Alberta women captured 13 medals at the conference championship, including four gold medals. Olivia Cooper was named the Canada West Rookie of the Year after capturing golds in the 600m and 4x800m relay, adding a silver in the 1000m.
The most intriguing race for the Pandas will be the 60m hurdles. Cassandra Grenke twice set Pandas program records in the event earlier this season, before teammate Catharina Kluyts broke the record with a time of 8.33 seconds to earn a silver medal at the conference championships. Kluyts enters the event ranked third in Canada, while Grenke ranks fifth.
The Bears earned six medals in Saskatoon two weeks ago, including gold in the men’s 4x400m relay. Brothers Brendan and Wesley Calef each earned CW bronze medals, with Brendan doing so in the 600m, and Wesley in the men’s high jump.
Josh Li, Graham Seasons, Emmanuel Vela, and Justin Rose lead the Bears 4x400m squad, which enters the national tournament ranked 5th in Canada.
TOP-RANKED ALBERTA ATHLETES GOING INTO U SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Rachel Hyink: Pole Vault (1st – 4.12m)
Catharina Kluyts: 60m hurdles (3rd – 8.31), 300m (8th – 38.99)
Cassandra Grenke: 60m hurdles (5th – 8.36)
Olivia Cooper: 600m (5th – 1:31.16) / 1000m (12th – 2:51.05)
Pandas 4x800m relay (2nd – 8:58.13)
Robert Chauvet: 1000m (5th – 2:24.56)
Brendan Calef: 600m (6th – 1:19.18)
Wesley Calef: High Jump (6th – 2.04m)
Adam Osborne: Pole Vault (8th – 4.70m)
* U SPORTS rankings
FULL U SPORTS RANKINGS