This may be news to most of you, but the University of Calgary’s track and field team is for real. The men are ranked fourth, the women are ranked sixth and leading the charge to the top is long jumper and high jumper, Jodi Friesen.
Friesen, a native Calgarian, spent her high school years at a boarding school in Saskatchewan. Her parents live in Calgary and when it came time for university, she chose to come back home. The fifth-year English major is having, perhaps her finest athletic year ever. She is determined to go out with a bang, this being her last year with the Dinos.
Friesen’s athletic career got off to a quick start when she won a Canada West title in her first season at the university. She didn’t fare as well at the following nationals, but she wasn’t too disappointed.
"I choked a little bit back then," she remarked. "But I also learned how much fun it could be."
Friesen has had fun ever since, with consistently solid showings in her three major events, high jump, long jump, and the pentathlon. She is currently in the top three in each of those disciplines and making a run for number-one in high jump with a recent win at the Golden Bear Open in Edmonton. Friesen feels that she has a chance at the nationals this year.
"I am really excited this season and I hope I’ll do well," she said. "Many good athletes left after last season so that leaves me in good position"
Friesen has one more month to prepare but she seems poised and ready to make some noise. Nationals are March 10-11 at McGill University in Montreal and Friesen plans to be there.
As for her plans after graduation,Friesen laughed, "I want to find a job downtown. I’ll decide afterwards if I want to continue with track and field. It’s really fun and I love it so I hope I’ll still find the time."
With a little luck Friesen will find success in Montreal next month and lead the U of C women’s track team to success at nationals.