Track and field veteran competes in first meet
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:28 pm
As a seasoned competitor with the Airdrie Aces track and field team, Scott Chalupiak is used to the challenges one faces during the course of a meet.
The 14-year-old Grade 9 student at George McDougall High School found himself in a slightly different situation at Foothills Athletic Park in Calgary on May 21, as he represented his school at the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) track and field meet.
“One of the things that stood out to me was the fact that you get to hang out and see more people that you know that just aren’t from your regular track and field team, which is pretty neat,” Chalupiak said.
“There is a lot more laid back atmosphere here as well, which is different from some of the meets I go to in the United States, where everyone is gunning to be No. 1,” he added.
“I think here, everyone is out to have fun and enjoy themselves while competing.”
Chalupiak’s first RVSA meet was a major success, as he came away with three first-place finishes in the boys’ juvenile division.
He sped away from the rest of the field on the 800-metre and 1,500-metre races, and cruised to the win in the 80-metre hurdles race.
“The hurdle race was a little bit different, as the 80-metre distance is a little bit shorter than the 100-metre race that I usually run with the Aces,” Chalupiak said.
“I had a little bit of trouble on the last couple of hurdles, as I was making two steps between them instead of the three steps that I usually do, but I still did well.”
“This was the first really hot day that we have had for any meet in Calgary all year, so that made things a little bit difficult when it comes to the long distance events,” he added.
“I would of liked to have run a little bit faster at the start, but I needed to keep my pace for the later stages of the race, and I did a good job of that.”
George McDougall Mustangs Track and Field Coach Ryan Haggerty was pleased with Chalupiak’s showing at the RVSA meet, especially since it was his first time competing in a local high school meet.
“I was really impressed to see him compete against the top athletes from our school district,” Haggerty said.
“Scott is a high-end athlete that is very self-driven, and he pushed himself to the best that he could in all three of his events.”
“When you’re a Grade 9 athlete, it’s always a different atmosphere when you come to something like this,” he added.
“I think for Scott, having been through different things with the Aces helped him with that.”
Chalupiak will be representing the Mustangs once again at the Junior Zone meet at Foothills Athletic Park in Calgary on June 3, which will be his final meet of the season for George McDougall, as Grade 9 athletes do not compete at the provincial championships.
“My goal for next year is to make it to the provincial event and to try to bring home a banner for the school,” Chalupiak said.
“I’ll be working hard in practice in order to get better and achieve that goal.”