Relay team barely misses podium

Track and field end its season in high fashion at the national

Gaels track stars Michael Prime, Gordon Frenke, Adrian Heller and Michael Nishiyama were less than half a second away from claiming a bronze medal in the 4x400-metre relay last weekend during the Canadian Interuniversity Sport track and field championships in Windsor.

The team was 1.5 seconds faster than the time they clocked when they won silver at the Ontario championships, setting the new Queen’s record for men’s 4x400-metre relay at 3:20.56.

Nishiyama said he was happy with the team’s work at nationals despite the lack of medals.

“Our performance was great,” he said. “We placed fourth and broke the Queen’s record again, which was awesome.”

On the whole, Nishiyama said this year has been a strong one for the men’s 4x400-metre team.

“It’s definitely been a successful year,” he said. “This year we were ranked sixth and we came out fourth so I don’t think we could’ve done much better.”

Head coach Melody Torcolacci said the team had high hopes for continued success from the young squad.

“They’re all back [next year],” she said. “They’ve all been working very hard and they’ve got the potential to do some awesome things next year.”

While the men’s 4x400-metre team was the closest to medaling, Queen’s had top 10 finishes from a large number of its athletes. The women’s 4x400-metre team finished eighth, as did the men’s and women’s 4x200-metre teams. Leah Larocque finished the 1,500-metre race in seventh position and Jan Stirling placed eighth in the 300-metre race.

Torcolacci said the team’s overall performance at nationals met her expectations.

“I think we did as well as we possibly could have done,” she said. “People came in and ran what they were expected to run so you can’t do much better than that.”

Looking back, Torcolacci said the season was a success for track and field.

“I think we have a very good year,” she said. “We achieved all of the things we’d hoped to achieve. People worked hard and we made great steps to being deeper and stronger. The [Queen’s] top 10 list of the men’s and women’s side took a pounding this year, making this one of the best teams of all time.”

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