Airdrie runner gets three golds at Western Championships
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 10:48 am
Airdrie Aces runner Scott Chalupiak was a dominating force at the Western Canadian Championships in Saskatoon on July 19 and 20.
The 15 year old captured his third overall title at the Westerns thanks to three gold-medal performances, as he finished in first place in the 800-metre and 1,200-metre races, and was part of the gold-medal winning team in the medley relay event where he ran the 800-metre portion of the race.
“It was a good meet to be involved in to say the least,” Chalupiak said. “The competition was intense, and the bond between everyone with Team Alberta was great as we got used to competing with each other instead of against one another.”
According to Chalupiak the most memorable race of the three during the course of the meet came on July 20 in the medley relay, as he teamed up with fellow Airdrie Aces member Adam Sleik, Eric Stevens of Edmonton and Calgary’s Kai Spierenburg.
“I had my 800-metre race at 10:30 in the morning that day, and the medley relay race was about 50 minutes after that,” Chalupiak recalled. “So I was still trying to recover from that last race so I wasn’t going to be completely exhausted going into that race.”
“I was able to run well in that event and come out of that race with a first-place finish for our team, and that was something I was really proud of,” he added.
Although he finished at the top of the podium in his two individual events in Saskatoon, Chalupiak couldn’t help but feel he could have done better in the two races, as he dealt with track conditions that were less than ideal.
“When we got to track for the event, we noticed right away that it was a facility that was in need of some tender loving care,” Chalupiak said.
“One half of the track had a whole bunch of chunks missing everywhere, and the track as a whole was so hard that it felt like you were running on cement almost, even if you were wearing your track and field shoes.”
“I think all of the competitors found that the conditions held us back a little bit from running as fast as we wanted to,” he added.
“But all of us were able to run through it.”
With two of his biggest meets of the summer around the corner, Chalupiak is hoping to use his triple gold-medal performance in Saskatoon to help him place high at the Alberta Summer Games in Airdrie on July 25 and 26 and the Canadian Youth Legion Championships in Langley, British Columbia from Aug. 15 to 17.
“The biggest thing that I think I’m going to take away from the Westerns is an improved level of confidence,” Chalupiak said.
“If I know that I can run as fast as the other guys and do well when I have to push myself, it feels a lot better than going into an event and feeling like an underdog.”