New Red Deer College Indoor Track Head Coach Kari Elliott is a happy camper after seeing her athletes excel at their first meet of the season this past weekend.
The RDC men’s and women’s track teams are off to a flying start to the indoor track season after taking second and third place overall respectively at the first Running Room Grand Prix at Grant MacEwan University on Saturday.
“It was a fabulous weekend. We really didn’t know what to expect, to be honest,” laughed Elliott, who is in her first year as head coach of both the cross-country and indoor track programs at the school.
Elliott said the team was looking to use the weekend as a benchmark to gauge how they measure up to the other indoor track programs in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
“I’m very pleased with how everyone did,” she said.
At the end of a busy day of track events at the Kinsmen Field House in Edmonton, runners from RDC were able to score top three finishes in a number of different events.
Fourth year runner Jordanna Cota led the way for the women’s team, picking up a first place finish in the women’s 3,000 metre run and claiming second in the women’s 1,500 metre.
The strong finishes were another accolade in an already strong season for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing major, who placed sixth overall out of 115 athletes at the CCAA Women’s Cross-Country Running National Championship in Sault Saint Marie in November.
“Considering that she did both of those long events in one day, it was pretty amazing,” said Elliott of Cota, whose 18 points on the day put her in a first place tie with SAIT’s Ricki Doyle in the event’s individual rankings.
Meanwhile, resident sprinter Sadie Borgfjord contributed 10 points of her own to the team with third and fifth place finishes in the 300 metre dash and 600 metre run respectively.
Borgfjord also played a key role in helping the women’s 4×400 metre relay team post a third place finish in the premiere team event of the day.
“She’s pretty phenomenal to watch over 300 metres and a solid, solid ringer for our 4×400 metre relay team,” Elliott said.
Other standouts for the RDC women’s team included Amy Severston, who pulled in 10 points with top five finishes in the 1,000 metre and 1,500 metre, and Shaelyn Moltzahn, who finished top six in the same two events for eight points.
Overall the team finished the day in second place with 57 points, 13 points behind the first place Grant MacEwan and 19 ahead of third place Grande Prairie.
Elliott said the ladies team will be looking to continue to improve while holding on to their solid second place spot behind Grant MacEwan, which is a university competing at the college level in the sport.
“Individually, of course, a few of our athletes are able to best their athletes but as a whole our team may not be able to do that this season. What we can hope to do is maintain that second spot and really dominate that on the women’s side,” she said.
The men’s side was a slightly tighter affair. RDC’s men’s squad squeaked into the third spot overall after edging out SAIT by just a single point.
“It was a photo finish relay that got us that extra point, so by no means do I feel like we’ve got third spot and we’re going to hold onto it. It’s going to be a bit of a fight,” Elliott said.
New arrival Adam Wass and veteran Nathan Goode lead the way for RDC on the men’s side with 10 points each.
Wass, who joined the team after Christmas, put up strong performances in the 1,500 and 3,000, finishing fourth in both events.
“He came into the team after Christmas not being at the top of his shape, so I know that with another month of training we should see him improve quite dramatically.”
Goode, meanwhile, came up big in the shorter events, finishing fifth in the 300 metre and third in the 600 metre.
“He was kind of under the radar for our cross country season and he came out on Saturday and ran a really great 600 metre,” Elliott said, noting overall, both teams will be looking to continue to improve their physical conditioning as they gear up for provincials in early March.
The indoor track athletes will be back in action on Feb. 12th when they head to SAIT for their second meet of the season and final tune up before the ACAC championship.