As the 2017 - 18 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Indoor Track season quickly approaches, the RDC Queens and Kings have their sights on another strong campaign while also looking ahead to cross-country running competition in the fall. “Indoor track gives us an opportunity to take a step back in total volume and focus on our speed and endurance. This reduction in volume gives our student-athletes a mental break and allows them to focus on speed training, which is necessary in all running events,” said Kari Elliott, head coach of the RDC Indoor Track and Cross-Country Running teams. “Also, having a number of track meets on the schedule is the motivation we need to continue training through the cold months in order to help prepare for the next cross-country season.”
Amy Severtson is one significant departure for the RDC Queens. Severtson finished fourth in the women’s 1,000 m (3:18.43) and sixth in the 1,500 m finals (5:15.66) at the 2016 - 17 ACAC Indoor Track Championships. However, the Queens will remain very strong in 2018. Last season’s ACAC Indoor Track silver medalists in the 4 x 400 m relay, Jordanna Cota, Jill Stewart, Sadie Borgfjord and Shaelyn Moltzahn, are back with the RDC team and will play a key role once again. Cota also won silver in the women’s 3,000 m. Breanna Berridge, Janaya Garbe and Teagan Shapka also return with the Queens. Last season, the RDC Queens won overall team silver. Tiana Lemon, a first-year Business Administration student from Red Deer, is a new addition this season.
Elliott believes the RDC women runners will be very competitive over distances. “The Queens are strong across the longer distances. Jill Stewart has been running very well this off-season and in time trials. I expect she will set some personal bests over 1,500 m and 3,000 m this season,” said Elliott. “We have been battling a few injuries on the women's team but I am optimistic that everyone will be healthy, if not at the beginning of the season, then by the championships in March. We are training hard and are excited to get out there on January 27.” The first ACAC Indoor Track competition will take place in Edmonton this Saturday.
Nolan Dyck and Jeff Willoughby are not back with the Kings, and they both performed well in the men’s 1,000 m. Dyck placed seventh (2:55.96) and Willoughby earned eighth (2:56.75) at the championships in Lethbridge. Nathan Goode is not competing this season and he placed fifth (40.33) over 300 m last year. The Kings are fortunate to have Cory DeRaadt, Devon Gurney, Justin Moltzahn and Adam Wass returning. Lucas Wessner, Stephen Rowley, Caleb Weber, Caleb Heinrichs and Kona Jackson will join the hard working RDC men on the track. Last season, the RDC Kings earned fourth place overall as a group and will look to move into a medal position this year.
Elliott is anticipating good results for the Kings over shorter competition. “I am excited about this season. We have a group of male athletes who are strong in the shorter distances. I expect to have several Kings in the top ten and hopefully in the top three in the 300 m and 600 m,” said Elliott. “The RDC Kings should have a very competitive 4 x 400 m relay team. Adam Wass is talented over longer distances and will look to perform well over 1,500m and 3,000 m again - we should see some personal bests there.” Last season, Wass, a Bachelor of Science student from Lacombe, placed ninth (10:14.63) over 3,000 m and tenth (4:41.88) in 1,500 m at the ACAC Indoor Track Championships.
MacEwan University will host Running Room Grand Prix #1 on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
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