Cougars sweep track and cross country meet 

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A runner dressed in the U of R’s green and yellow sprints toward the right of the image, a handful of medals in their left hand and a trophy in their right. 
Can’t catch me, I’ve been training all year!  mohamed_hassan via Pixabay manipulated by Lee Lim

How many records can be beat in one competition? Turns out, quite a few…  

The Cougars track and field team finished strong in their last competition at the U Sports Championship in Saskatoon. The men’s team finished sixth in the country with 34 points, and the Cougar Women’s team finished ninth with 22 total points.  

The meet saw amazing individual and team performances by the Cougars. There were additions to the Cougars’ medal collection as the Cougars won 11 Canada West medals at the Canada West Championship. On day one of the U Sports competition, Cougar sprinter Usheoritse Itsekiri (Dushos) defended his U Sports Championship title in the 60-metre dash with a time of 6.61 seconds, which broke his own U of R record.  

Storm Zablocki finished his rookie season with a bronze medal in the 60-metre dash with a time of 6.71 seconds, which is also his personal best. Joely Welburn won her sixth U Sports medal with a silver in the pentathlon. Welburn was fifth after the shot spot, but won both the long jump and 800-metre to move her up to second in the final standings. Her 800-metre time was also four seconds faster than her previous best at the U Sports meet.  

The men’s 4×200-metre relay team qualified for the finals with a second faster time in the preliminaries at 1:28.62. On the second day of competition, Welburn took home another medal, earning a bronze medal in long jump. She has won a bronze in 2020 and silver in 2021 in long jump. Welburn now has seven U Sports medals across her four seasons with the Cougars.  

The Cougar’s 4×800-metre men’s team just missed out on a podium finish, with a fourth-place finish time of 7:35.63. At his first U Sports meet, Jonathan Podbielski ran the 1000-metre, finishing in seventh place with a time of 2:27.16. Logan Fettes became the first-ever Cougar to compete in the heptathlon, where he finished eighth with a total of 4729 points.  

Other highlights of the day include Kaila Neigum who finished seventh in the 3000-metre with a time of 9:42.95, and Erika Stockhorst who placed eighth in long jump with 5.64 metres. On the last day of the meet, the Cougars had a thrilling victory in the men’s 4×200-metre relay. The team finished with a time of 1:27.74, breaking the old University of Regina record of 1:27.98 which was set back in 2011.  

This first-place finish is the first time ever that the University of Regina has won a national gold medal in a relay event. When asked about the final of the 4×200-metre, U of R interim head coach Chad Kichula said “It was an amazing event to watch, and the other teams brought more speed early [sic] than we had anticipated. Duchos got us off to a quick start, Storm really tapped into his speed on the back straightaway to keep us on the inside lane, and Logan and Brett were able to hold off the challenges. It was an absolute storybook ending for these guys.”  

Kichula continued, saying “We showed the country that, pound for pound, we are among the best track and field teams in the nation. I’m so proud of not only our veterans for their leadership and performance, but for our many rookies that stepped up. Dushos and Joely, in particular, were standouts and will undoubtedly go into the books among the greatest U Sports athletes of all-time.” The Cougars showcase their amazing heart and talent at the U Sports Championship and the Cougars continued success is still to come.  

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