On March 9, the University of Calgary captured their fourth women’s track and field Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship title. The Dinos won the meet, held in Edmonton, by a margin of just three and a half points with the battle for the banner coming down to the last event of the competition.
The U of C needed a bronze-medal finish or better in the deciding 4x400-metre relay to edge out the University of Toronto Varsity Blues for the title. In the end, the squad captured the silver medal in the event.
The Dinos have also won a CIS title in 1987, 1991 and 2007. In 2013, the Dinos dominated the Canada West conference, winning a CW title.
Captain of the team Kelsey Lawton ran the second-leg for the relay team that wound up clinching the competition.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous before, suddenly you don’t just have three people riding on your run, you’ve got 23 people praying for it to come together,” said Lotwin. “It just came down to making sure we had a nice, clean race with good hand offs and we ended up doing above and beyond what we needed to and got second.”
The championship was especially meaningful for Lotwin as this was her last chance at winning a national title.
“I came to this school because they won the year before I showed up. That was one of the deciding factors for me to come to the Dinos,” said Lotwin.
Lotwin credited the team dynamic as well as some outstanding performances as keys to making it an extremely successful weekend.
“It was probably the best experience I’ve had as a team, and not even just winning the trophy but watching the girls and the energy on the track was amazing,” said Lotwin.
Head coach Doug Lamont said he knew that the meet was going to be close between the three top teams. Calgary entered the competition ranked third behind the Guelph University Gryphons and the U of T.
“On any given day any one of those three teams could win the championship. It just depends on what you do on that day. Our girls performed at the peak of their abilities and just happened to hit it on the right day and that’s what won it for us,” said Lamont.
Being at the helm of the winning team earned Lamont coach of the year honors but he downplayed the individual award.
“It’s really not so much what I do, it’s a recognition of the entire coaching staff and my feelings are that it just confirms that the University of Calgary has one of the best coaching staffs of the country,” said Lamont.
Earlier on the final day of competition, Rachel Machin won gold in the high jump, beating out the number-one ranked high jumper from Trinity Western University. Machin had already won a silver in the 60-metre hurdles and a gold medal in the long jump on the second day of competition. On the first day of the CIS finals, Machin won silver in the entathlon with the U of C’s Rachel McIntosh winning gold.
Jenna Westaway won a silver medal in the 600-metre finals, a silver in the 1000-metre finals and was also a member of the silver-medal-winning 4x400-metre team.
Coach of the year was just one many awards won by various members of the team at the meet and throughout the year. Jenna Westaway won CIS track athlete of the year and Rachel Machin took home female athlete of the meet honours.