The Flashback Friday for December 21 features the 2011-12 Women's Track and Field team.
Front row (L-R): Katerina Allan, Lesley d’Apollonia, Cara Groves, Sarah Currie, Britany MacArthur, Ashley Ryer, Stephanie Sobey, Sascha Hamilton-Miller
Middle row (L-R): Kevin Bourgeois (Asst. Coach), Richard Lehman (Asst. Coach), Kennedy MacLean, Cassie Ehler, Meryl MacDougall, Chantelle Robbertse, Sara Ubbens, Peter Lord (Head Coach), Russell Christie (Asst. Coach)
Back row (L-R): Jonathan Doucette (Asst. Coach), Dere Ikomi, Rebecca Haworth, Allison Lerette, Elizabeth MacDonald, Ellen Chappell, Al Yarr (Asst. Coach), Heather Hennigar (Asst. Coach)
The women’s track and field team established itself this year with great potential at the AUS and CIS levels for years to come. The 2011-12 season was somewhat of a transition year with a number of rookies benefiting from the experience of a few older athletes. The Tigers will be in great shape for success in the coming years at the AUS and CIS levels.
Starting off the season at home, with the Dal December Open Dere Ikomi won the 300m in 43.1 seconds closely followed by Sascha Hamilton-Miller’s 43.2 finish. Katerina Allan had her best effort of the year in the women's shot put with a throw of 10.13m.
After the holiday break, the Tigers traveled to Moncton in January for the UdeM Open where first-year Meryl MacDougall won the 60m sprint with a personal best time of 7.99 seconds. Lesley d'Apollonia led a Dalhousie top three sweep of the 300m run with teammates Ikomi in second, followed by Sascha Hamilton-Miller in third. This group was joined by MacDougall to capture the 4x200m relay event. Chantelle Robbertse won the pentathlon while Rebecca Haworth won the high jump.
At the Athletics Nova Scotia Open the following weekend, MacDougall clocked a time of 7.95 seconds in the 60m sprint to post the eighth fastest time ever by a Dalhousie athlete. Ikomi had a season best 8.29 seconds while Stephanie Sobey joined the varsity ranks with an 8.32 second performance in the same event. Lesley d'Apollonia won the 300m in a personal best time of 42.53 ahead of Ikomi’s second place effort of 43.06 seconds. Cara Groves ran her fastest 3000m of the season in 10:22.77 for third. Allison Lerette had a personal best of 10.23m in the women's triple jump.
The team traveled to the McGill Team Challenge at the end of January to gain some experience against university athletes from Ontario and Quebec and were rewarded with many personal best performances. MacDougall ran a 7.98 time to finish seventh in the final. d'Apollonia recorded personal best times in the 60m (8.11) and the 300m (42.18) events. Ashley Ryer opened her season with a 2:53.93 time in the 1000m, good enough for seventh place while Sara Ubbens and Britany MacArthur tied in the 1000m event, both running season bests of 3:06.35. Ubbens also ran a personal best time of 4:55.29 in the 1500m. In the weight throw Elizabeth MacDonald had a personal best of 15.71m to finish fourth and in the shot put she surpassed her previous record, recording a distance of 11.04m. Haworth captured the high jump with a leap of 1.70m and Robbertse had a personal best of 3065 points in the pentathlon.
Highlights at February’s meets included Lerette’s 5.01m leap in the long jump at the Maritime Heart Centre Meet and Ryer’s season best time of 2:52.4 in the 1000m at the Tigers Classic. d'Apollonia ran 41.6 in the 300m at the Tigers Classic to better her previous personal best in January and the women's 4x200m team of d'Apollonia, Ikomi, Emma Roung and Hamilton-Miller ran a great season best time of 1:44.5.
At the AUS championships in Moncton, NB, Robbertse generated a string of personal bests, including a 5.34m long jump to score 3226 points in the pentathlon. MacArthur captured her first AUS 600m title while Ryer easily out-distanced the field in the 1500m, finishing in a time of 4:44.26. The relay team of Ubbens, Sarah Currie, Kennedy MacLean and MacArthur were second in the 4x800m. In the triple jump Lerette produced a personal best of 10.63m to take second and in the high jump Haworth took the title with a 1.65m leap followed by Robbertse in second. MacDonald picked up a bronze medal in the shot put and d'Apollonia took silver in the 60m hurdles with a 9.66 performance before claiming the 300m AUS title with a time of 42.11. Ikomi put forth a great effort of 43.13 to capture the bronze. The 1000m AUS record fell to a determined Ashley Ryer, who cut a fourth of a second from the previous record with a time of 2:54.20. The 4x200m team of d’Apollonia, Ikomi, Roung and Hamilton-Miller set a new AUS record of 1:46.45. Ellen Chappell produced an incredible personal best of 10:33.99 in the 3000m to capture bronze while MacDonald captured her third AUS title in the weight throw and Robbertse claimed silver in the long jump. The 4x400m team of d'Apollonia, MacArthur, Ryer and Hamilton-Miller broke the old AUS record, set in 1995, with a time of 4:07.63.
The Dal women’s team had only a slim lead after day one, but pulled off their 23rd consecutive AUS title at the end of the meet. At the post-meet reception Rebecca Haworth was honoured with the AUS Student-Athlete Community Service Award and as AUS Female Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
The Tigers finished the season at the CIS championships in Brandon, MB. MacDonald established a new Dalhousie record of 16.11m in the weight throw, just missing placing in the top eight. Robbertse had a personal best in the 800m with a time of 2:23.90 to complete her first pentathlon at the CIS championships to place 11th overall. The 4x200m team of d'Apollonia, Ikomi, Roung and Hamilton-Miller improved on their national ranking with a personal best time and 10th place finish in 1:43.90. Ryer finished with a kick in 2:49.32 for fourth place in the 1000m after being boxed in for almost four laps. In the 1500m she left the slow section, running 4:32.74 to finish an impressive sixth overall. Haworth finished 10th in the high jump with a 1.65m jump, just 5 cm from a bronze medal. The women's 4x400m team of d'Apollonia, Robbertse, Ryer and Hamilton-Miller ran the fifth fastest time in Dal history with 3:55.92.
Despite a 19th place finish at the CIS championships the women’s track and field season was full of success and the Tigers look forward to next year.