This week’s Flashback Friday goes to the 2002-03 women’s track and field team.
Back Row: Peter Lord (Assistant Coach), Alicia Bell, Adrienne Power, Lauren Grant, Kelly McKean, Rebecca Walker, Lindsay Jones, Mara Chaplin (Trainer) Front Row: Brendan O’Neil (Assistant Coach), Natasha Crater, Andrea Faryniuk, Katie Campbell, Lauren Maher, Ruth Weaver, Dan Hennigar (Head Coach)
From very early on in the year, the women’s track and field team showed that this season was going to be a special one. At the first pre-season meet, led by Adrienne Power, the Dal sprinters showed they were a force to be reckoned with as they filled the 60m final to be exclusively Dalhousie. Not to be outdone however, rookie Lindsay Jones broke a Dal record in the shot put, which she would continue to break at numerous competitions throughout the season.
After the Christmas break, the Tigers had the first scored meet of the year. Just like the pre-season meet, the Dal sprinters dominated once again capturing the first six places. Jones re-set her shot put record, as well, she set a new Dalhousie record in the weight toss. The performances of Jones and the Tigers sprinters helped Dal secure first place with 38 points well ahead of Moncton’s 19.
At the second scored meet of the season in Oromocto, N.B, the status quo held with the Dal sprinters and Jones once again establishing their dominance. Adrienne Power continued to lead the way for the Tigers setting a new Dalhousie and provincial record in the 200m. In the closest meet of the season, Dalhousie escaped with a 10 point victory over cross-town rivals Saint Mary’s.
At the third and final meet scored meet, Dalhousie stepped and performed in front of a home crowd at the Dalplex. In addition to Jones’ and Power’s continued success, Kelly McKean ran to a top 12 CIS ranking in the 3000m. Dalhousie once again won the meet, this time outpacing StFX by 46 points. On the heels of their three victories, the women’s track team looked ahead to the AUS championship in Moncton with great confidence.
In Moncton, the Tigers showed no mercy, easily winning the team title in a 136 point landslide victory over Saint Mary’s. Power showed her importance to the Tigers, leaving the meet with four gold medals in the 60m, 300m, long jump and the 4x200m relay. Other gold medalists included Faryniuk in the 60m hurdles, high jump, and pentathlon, Ruth Weaver in the 600m as well as Jones in the shotput and weight toss. For her four gold medals, Power was awarded athlete of the meet, with Jones winning rookie of the meet thanks to her double gold performance.
At the CIS Championship, the Tigers rose to the occasion, hitting lifetime bests in all their events but two. As she had done all year, Power once again delivered an exceptional performance. Seeded seventh in the 300m, Power beat her best time in the heats, breaking Dal and Atlantic records in the process. In the final, Power put on a race for the ages, winning the event by nearly a full second and claimed the gold medal. At the time, Power’s performances put her in the top six all time, with Olympians occupying the spots in front. With the momentum Power created with her gold medal victory, other Tigers stepped up and raced hard, McKean improved on her 12th place ranking, moving all the way to sixth in the 300m and scoring for the Tigers. Rookie phenom Jones also contributed to the Tigers points, placing 12th in the shotput, missing her personal best by less then a centimetre.
The Tigers left the championship placing 12th overall in the team standings but were already excited what the future held after such great performances.