Track takes on the nation

Windsor plays host to Canadian championships, Hulse brings home pair of medals

Last weekend the track and field team competed in the CIS Championships in Windsor. The Gaels made a strong showing, with many athletes achieving personal bests and fourth-year distance runner Matt Hulse climbing the podium twice, capturing one gold and one silver medal.

Hulse claimed his first medal on Friday after edging out hometown Lancer Matt Walters of the University of Windsor by 26 100ths of a second to win the 1,000-metre race in a time of 2:25.08.

“The guy I was primarily racing was Michael Del Monte from Toronto, who came third,” Hulse said. “He came in first at the OUAs, and he led the race out. He was the guy we were chasing the whole race, and I beat him down the home stretch.”

He claimed his second medal on Saturday, taking the silver in the 1,500-metre race with a time of 3:50.94, a mere 1.41 seconds behind Guelph’s Kyle Boorsma.

Narrowly missing the podium were the members of the women’s 4x200-metre relay team, composed of Veronica Catry, Paulina Beretta, Jan Stirling and Marissa Walter. Their time of 1:42.71 was the second best time in school history.

The men’s 4x400-metre relay team, made up of Gord Frenke, Adrian Heller, Shane Kelly and Michael Nishiyama, set a new Queen’s record with a time of 3:20.14.

The women’s team ranked 18th overall, while the men clinched the 10th spot.

Hulse said his future is with the team.

“I think I probably will come back,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the chance to run again.

Hulse also praised his coaches.

“Especially with [cross country and distance coach] Kevin Dunbar as coach, I think I’d like another year under him. He’s [had] a big impact on my success.” In an e-mail to the Journal, head coach Melody Torcolacci said Hulse makes a significant contribution to the team.

“If we are fortunate enough to have him back I have no doubt ... he’ll be a significant contributor both in [cross country] and on the track,” she said. “He’s so talented I wouldn’t put it past him to replicate a two-medal performance.”

She added it wouldn’t be fair to pressure Hulse into coming back for a fifth year with the Gaels.

“What I wish for Matt more than anything is that he stays healthy and continues to discover what he’s capable of as he develops as a competitive runner.”

Torcolacci said the graduating veterans from her team will leave a big hole in her roster, but it will be filled in time.

“Do we have recruitment prospects? Yes. Do we have people who will be able to step in and immediately replace what we’re losing? No, [but] perhaps in time. The intangible with the athletes we’re losing is their outstanding leadership and role model commitment—that is as critical a loss as the performances they produced.” Hulse said he would take it on himself to help the rookies.

“I think it’s just important that I set a good example for the rookies,” Hulse said. “Just working hard in practice, running smart races, being there to answer question. I know when I was a rookie, I had some good veterans ahead of me.  I’ve had good role models to follow.”
Queen’s is hosting the 17th World University Cross Country Championship this year at Fort Henry Hill. The event will run from April 7-12. Pick up next week’s Journal for full story.

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