Local track team wraps up indoor season, prepping for outdoor
The Airdrie Aces track team recently concluded the 2012-2013 indoor season with the Alberta Indoor Provincial Championships, which took place in Edmonton March 10 to 12.
Five Airdrie athletes won the series titles for their individual age groups. Brooklyn Brabant won the 12-year-old girls series while Jasmine Szucs won the 10 and under series. Scott Chalupiak won the 13-year-old boys series while teammate Jalen Greenridge took bronze in the series.
While Chalupiak and Greenridge have emerged as two of the top athletes in the club, Aces coach Jodie Matsuba-Szucs said more and more of the younger athletes are climbing to the top of the podium in their respective events, like Jasmine Szucs and Rylen Walker. Two of the clubs Peewee athletes finished in the top five for combined events in their age category.
“They’re quite young,” Matsuba-Szucs said.
“They have around 50 people in their fields and they’re finishing in the top five. That’s how strong they are and they’re almost two years younger (than some of the other athletes).”
The Aces brought a total of seven medals home from Provincials. Chalupiak captured silver in shot put and the 800-metre run and bronze in long jump, the 150-metre run and the 600-metre run. Greenridge won a trio of silver medals in the long jump, 60-metre sprint and 150-metre run.
Sam Gagne placed second in the long jump and 60-metre run. He placed third in the medicine ball throw.
With several Aces topping the podiums during the indoor meets, Matsuba-Szucs said many more are poised to medal at the outdoor meets. She said one of the club’s most improved athletes this year was Isaiah Richards, a second year midget-aged sprinter.
“He’s come so far in his form and his speed,” Matsuba-Szucs said.
“It’ll be interesting to see what he can do. He’s quite a strong sprinter for being one of the newer runners last year.”
A trio of Aces also received provincial awards at the final meet in Edmonton. Chalupiak, Adam Sleik and Sam Rajah were honoured by Athletics Alberta for finishing in the top 10 of their respective age divisions for overall performance throughout the season.
The Aces are now ready to begin training for the outdoor season, which officially kicks off in May. Training begins in April and the first meet is scheduled for May 5 in Lethbridge. Several more meets are packed into June and July including the local Hersheys meet, which the Aces will be hosting May 17 at Genesis Place. Matsuba-Szucs is hopeful that a handful of local athletes will not only advance to the provincial Hersheys meet in June, but also the national meet in Pennsylvania.
Other highlights of the season include Western Canadian Midget and Youth Championships and the national Legion meet.