By Ryan Laverty
Nervous excitement sprinkled with bated breath hung thick in the air at Alberta’s Butterdome last weekend for the Golden Bear Open track and field meet.
Silent anticipation consumed participants and the audience alike as they waited for the signal. Muscles twitched and hearts began to pound until it felt like they couldn’t take it for another instant. And with the ominous crack of a pistol, the silence was shattered.
Teammates, coaches and the crowd, erupted in volleys of cheers, willing their athletes to run faster, throw farther and jump higher. For the Dinos, it seems to have worked.
"I’d have to say that across the board we are extremely pleased," said Assistant Coach Doug Lamont. "We have really shown a lot of improvement over last year."
The weekend’s performances were impressive enough to move the men’s side up to seventh and the women to an astounding third place ranking nationally. But, while the rankings may be fun and interesting to look at throughout the year, Lamont understands that’s all they are-fun and interesting.
"It’s great to see our team doing so well [in the rankings]," he admitted. "But things will flip flop. So, what it really comes down to is who competes the best on the day of the national championship."
Speaking of national championships, five Dinos athletes-namely Darren Clarke, Amy Barnett, Jen Brown, Jessica King and Samantha Anderson-and the women’s 4 x 200m relay team qualified thanks to their brilliant
performances in Edmonton Jan. 18 and 19.
The Dinos travel to Saskatoon on Jan. 25 for the Sled Dog Invitational meet. Lamont expects the hosting University of Saskatchewan Huskies (last year’s national champion) will have a few tricks up their sleeve but he is also confident his team will be ready.