Airdrie Runner falls just short in breaking provincial record in gold-medal run
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 06:00 am
With the crowd urging him on at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park on July 26, Airdrie runner Scott Chalupiak used every ounce of energy he had to try and break a long-standing provincial record during the men’s U15 (Under 15) 800-metre race at the 2014 Alberta Summer Games.
However, despite setting a new personal best time of 1:58.31 and finishing in first place, the 15 year old fell just short in his quest to break the provincial record time of 1:57.70 that was set by Mark Lynch of Leduc in 1983.
“I might have had my hopes and aspirations a little bit too high going into the event, as I was a second off the provincials record going into this race and that’s a lot to try and cut down in a couple of weeks,” Chalupiak said.
“I went out there with a quick pace and I was trying to do a first lap of 57 seconds and just go from there,” he added.
“However, I went out and did a 56-second lap to start things off and I may have paid the price for it in the end.”
While his name didn’t go into the provincial record books, Chalupiak was pleased with how he did in the Summer Games, as he won a gold medal in both the 800-metre and 1,200-metre races, and also won a silver medal for Zone 2 in the medley relay.
“I’m really happy with what I did individually, but I’m more proud to see what the people of Airdrie were able to do in putting on the Games, especially with the support we had as athletes,” Chalupiak said.
“Usually at meets you just have people you know cheering you on, but it was different here with so many different people in the stands urging us on,” he added.
“It helps you to forget everything that’s going on and it gives you that little extra push as an athlete.”
Prior to his gold-medal run in the 800-metre race on July 26, Chalupiak started off his Summer Games experience with a first-place finish in the 1,200-metre event, where he fell back to fourth at one point before making a late race charge to win the race in a time of 3:25.89.
“That was an interesting and exciting race to be a part of, as a lot of the guys in that race did not want to burn themselves out before the 800-metre finals the next day,” Chalupiak said. “I usually try to go out at a quick pace to take the lead, but with everyone going at a slow pace like I was, it led to a lot of passing in a tight group.”
“It was similar to how the races at the Summer Olympics go where everyone is on a different strategy,” he added.
A couple of hours after his gold-medal run, Chalupiak teamed up with fellow Airdrie athletes Terryl Shomachuk and Adam Sleik, along with Andreas Troschke of Olds to win the silver medal in the U15 medley relay.
“We ran the race in a time of 3:57.57, which was a little bit slower than we had hoped for,” Chalupiak said. “We had a little bit of trouble with our exchanges, but there’s nothing you can really do about that.”
Chalupiak will take some time off prior to attempting to break the 800-metre provincial record again on Aug. 5 in Surrey, B.C., which will be a tune-up meet for the Canadian Youth Legion Track & Field Championships in Langley, B.C. from Aug. 15 to 17.
At the Legion meet, Chalupiak will be racing in the 1,200-metre race on Aug. 15, the medley relay on Aug. 16, and the 1,500-metre steeplechase event on Aug. 17.
“I have a lot of confidence now after the Summer Games, as I feel like I’m running faster and faster,” Chalupiak said.
“I know a lot of people will be trying to beat me, but I like that challenge.”