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Two Airdrie track competitors teams overcome obstacles at meet

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 06:00 am

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Two track-and-field competitors from Airdrie made their way south of the border as Scott Chalupiak and Katie Yackel took part in the Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho on Feb. 13 to 15.

Chalupiak, a 14 year old, who competes with Airdrie Aces team, took part in the boys’ 800m race on Feb. 15, where he came away with an eighth-place finish with a time of 1:59.56.

“There were 134 competitors in that event, which was the most people that I have ever had to race with over the course of a meet,” Chalupiak said. “Usually at the Alberta meets, you are competing against no more than 20 athletes, so this was a little bit different.”

The Grade 9 student at George McDougall High School also achieved a personal goal, as he was able to break the two-minute barrier in the 800m race.

“That is something that I have been wanting to do for awhile now,” Chalupiak said.

“Getting under the two-minute mark is a wall that everyone has trouble getting over, but once you do, it’s a pretty amazing feeling.”

Yackel, a 15 year old who competes with the Calgary Warriors track team, competed in the 60m hurdles event where she had a 13th place finish with a time of 9.29 seconds.

“I thought I did well overall, but I also feel like I could have done a little bit better,” Yackel said.

“The whole experience there was overwhelming at times, as there were so many athletes there and so many people watching you, and it felt a lot different than the meets back home.”

“But I’m not using that as an excuse,” she added.

Another challenge the Grade 10 Bert Church High School student had to deal with was the hurdles at the meet in Idaho because they were slightly higher at 33 inches than the 30-inch hurdles she flies over regularly at meets in Alberta.

“It took me a little bit to get used to that,” Yackel said.

“However, I was able to practice with the higher hurdles before I went down to the meet, so I had a bit of an idea of what to expect in race conditions.”

Chalupiak and Yackel are now preparing to take part in the Alberta provincial championships for indoor events, which will be held in Edmonton on March 1 and 2.


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