Aces athletes set to compete on national stage
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 11:28 am
Three members of the Airdrie Aces track and field team will be going up against some of the top youth runners and throwers in Canada in Langley, British Columbia from Aug. 15 to 17.
Scott Chalupiak and Adam Sleik of Airdrie and Andreas Troschke of Olds, will be members of Team Alberta at the 2014 Canadian Youth Legion Track & Field Championships, where the 15 year olds will be competing in a variety of events in the midget men’s division.
Chalupiak, who won the gold medal in the 800-metre and 1,200-metre races at the 2014 Alberta Summer Games in Airdrie last month, will be competing in his second Youth Legions meet after taking part in the event last year.
“It was a little bit different last year as I was just an open competitor and not a member of Team Alberta, and I just took part in the 1,500-metre steeplechase where I finished in third place,” Chalupiak said. “So instead of going just on my own schedule to the track, I’m going to be with Team Alberta and cheering them on for all three days, which will be great but a little different at the same time.”
The Airdrie runner will be taking part in four events during the meet, as he will take part in the 800-metre and 1,200-metre races, and also be a part of the medley relay and 4x400 metre relay teams.
“One of the major things I’ve been focusing on is my endurance, as running four different types of races during a three-day stretch is something that most people don’t do very often,” Chalupiak said. “I’ve also been working on my final kick for the end of the race, so that if I’m in a situation where someone is close to me, they won’t be able to pass me.”
“My goal is to not only try and get the gold in all my events, but I also want to break the midget provincial record in the 800-metre event,” he added.
“I ran a personal best time of 1:58.05 in Surrey, B.C. on Aug. 5, and I feel like if I can a run two good laps, I should be able to have a chance at it.”
Mark Leduc of Leduc set the current midget provincial record in the 800-metre race in 1983 with a time of 1:58.31 seconds.
First trip to nationals
Unlike Chalupiak, 2014 Alberta Summer Games and Alberta High School Track and Field discus gold medallist Sliek will be making his first appearance to the nationals, in what has been a busy summer for the George McDougall High School student.
“All of the meets like the Legion Nationals, the Alberta Summer Games, and the Western Canadian Championships are all new to me, so it’s been a pretty wild and busy couple of months,” Sleik said.
“This is going to be a lot of fun though, as not only am I going to be taking part in a national meet, but I will be going with my fellow teammates from the Aces,” he added.
Sleik will be competing in four events during the course of the meet, as he will be showing his throwing abilities in the discus event, leaping down the track in the 100-metre and 200-metre hurdle races, and being a part of the medley relay team.
“I’m just going there to try and do my best, and maybe get some personal best times and distances,” Sleik said. “This is my first time at an event like this, so I don’t want to set my goals too high.”
“The biggest thing I have been working on is the hurdle races, as I’m weaker in that event than in the discus throw,” he added.
“I’ve really been focusing on going quicker down the track, so I have been focusing a lot on my speed and strength.”
Ready for nationals
While his fellow Aces teammates will be in multiple events, Olds resident Troschke will just be taking part in the hammer throw competition, where he is currently the top 15-year-old male in the province with a throw of 53.04 centimetres that he achieved in Kelowna, B.C. on June 29.
“At events like the Alberta Summer Games in Airdrie, I’ve had that pressure of everyone gunning for me, but I’ve been able to work through that and get the gold,” Troschke said.
“My goal is to try and do that again, but there is a really top competitor from BC (Vikramjit Gondara of Abbotsford) who is one of the top guys in Canada and he trains with Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk, who is the coach for Olympian shot put thrower Dylan Armstrong,” he added.
“If I have a good day though, I think I have a chance to be right there with him.”