By Aritra Das
The Dinos women are certainly not deficient in talent, boasting numerous high performance athletes such as Jessica Zelinka, three-time Canadian Interuniversity Sport Female Track Athlete of the Year. The middle and long distance women were also dominant throughout most of the season. It was not abnormal to see three or more Dinos placing in the top five in each event. Even at nationals, the women performed well against very stiff competition. There is also a strong base of talent in the shorter races, as well as jumping and throwing events.
The men’s squad on the other hand, is in need of talent. Despite some strong individual performances in the middle and long distance events at various meets throughout the season, no Dinos men qualified for the CIS championship. An infusion of talent into the men’s squad would undoubtedly make them much more competitive.
There was no shortage of effort from the Dinos as they showed up ready for competition at every meet. Track and field training sessions are not exactly leisurely jogs, and the Dinos men and women consistently trained hard. It was injury rather than a lack of effort which hampered them at times.
The track squad is highly fortunate to have a coaching staff led by Les Gramantik. A former CIS coach of the year, Gramantik is regarded as one of the top track and field coaches in Canada. He was a part of the national track and field team’s coaching staff at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympic Games. Assistant Coach Doug Lamont also has a plethora of experience in cross-country and track and field, and has been named Canada West Cross-Country Coach of the Year.
Although the Dinos women performed strongly throughout the season, an injury to Zelinka during the national CIS championship caused them to settle for fifth place overall. Had Zelinka stayed healthy for the duration of the competition, the lady Dinos would likely have been strong contenders for the national title. While the women dominated at a number of different meets, the men’s team was lackluster at best, with a handfull of standout individual performances.
Singer/Band: Alicia Keys. Hugely talented–the women’s squad especially–and quite accomplished, but still hasn’t reached the pinnacle of success.