LETHBRIDGE – 10 athletes will be representing the Lethbridge Pronghorn Track program at the U SPORTS Championship at the University of Windsor this week coming off a seven-medal Canada West Championship performance.
Pronghorn head coach Larry Steinke says as always, they’re looking forward to nationals.
“With a great mix of veterans and rookies competing, we will have a strong showing again this year. Those that did well at Canada West are looking to continue their great season while a few that didn't are looking to bring a stronger performance with them,” Steinke said.
A year ago, the Pronghorns took home three medals at the U SPORTS Championships in Edmonton and look to improve on that number this year.
On the men’s side, fifth-year jumper Aaron Hernandez leads the way and will look to cap his university career with another national title.
Hernandez just claimed his fifth Canada West gold medal in the triple jump and will attempt to close out his Pronghorn career with his fourth triple jump gold medal.
Entering the meet, Hernandez is the top-ranked triple jumper in U SPORTS with a season-best jump of 15.46 metres, just shy of his personal best and 30 centimetres further than any other jumpers in U SPORTS this season.
Picking up the throws torch from graduated Peter Millman, Ben Ingvaldson continues the programs strong tradition in the throwing events and will challenge for a medal in both throwing events.
Ingvaldson, who won Canada West gold in both the shot put and weight throw, is ranked second in the shot put and third in the weight throw.
Also in the throws is rookie Andreas Troschke who heads to Windsor holding the second furthest throw in the weight throw this season, and will look to rebound after a tough Canada West Championships.
Troschke set a new personal best of 16.91 metres in the final tune-up before the Canada West Championships but had problems registering clean throws at the conference meet and finished just off the podium with his furthest throw of 15.81 metres.
Spencer Unrau will also compete in the weight throw and enters the event ranked 11th with a season-best throw of 15.65 metres.
Freshman Noel Vanderzee looks to continue his solid first year and enters the high jump competition ranked fourth in U SPORTS.
Vanderzee claimed the silver medal at the Canada West Championships after a jump-off with the gold medalist from the University of Alberta.
Rounding out the men’s qualifiers is fifth-year hurdler Phillip Rockerbie, who sits seventh in the 60-metre hurdles rankings with a season-best time of 8.32 seconds.
Sandra Latrace will lead the women’s side, competing in two events in Windsor.
Latrace reclaimed top spot in Canada West long jump after missing last season due to injury and sits in the second spot in U SPORTS by only one centimetre.
Latrace has a season best of 5.91 metres but a personal best she set two years ago of 6.17.
Latrace also added the 60-metre sprint to her program this season, finishing with a bronze medal at the Canada West Championships and has run the 12th fastest time in U SPORTS this season.
A trio of throwers rounds out the Pronghorns women’s qualifiers for the U SPORTS meet, led by fifth-year thrower Lara Roth.
Roth, a four-time Canada West medalist won a bronze medal at the conference meet two weeks ago and is ranked eighth in the weight throw.
Tanessa Morris and Madeline Szabo will make their first trip to the U SPORTS Championships to round out the Pronghorns heading to Windsor.
Morris, a first-year thrower is ranked ninth in the weight throw, while Szabo sits in 11th spot.
The U SPORTS Track and Field Championships kicks off Thursday with action set to begin later that afternoon and running through Saturday.
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