TWU Track and Field: Personal bests, medals for Johnston, Benson

Trinity Western Spartans capture gold and silver at University of Washington meet

Blair Johnston and Fiona Benson both posted personal bests and top two finishes in the 3,000m event at the University of Washington Open at Dempsey Indoor.

Benson won the women’s event in a time of 9:54.76 while Johnston was second in the men’s race at 8:26.62.

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The first-year Johnston stopped the clock at 8:26.62 on the 307m track in the 3000m as he finished second overall. With that time, he is now amongst the top three runners in Canada West and is on the cusp of being ranked amongst the top 15 in the CIS. His time was six seconds faster than his previous personal best, also ran at Dempsey Indoor.

“To have a six second personal best in the 3000m is very impressive,” said Spartans coach Laurier Primeau. “[Blair] ran so tough and so smart. He was like a metronome out there, posting laps of 67 seconds, 67 seconds, 68 seconds and, in his last lap, 65 seconds. To be that consistent really speaks volumes to how far he’s come.”

On Saturday, competing against strictly NCAA Div. 1 competition, Benson also proved to be in form as she finished 10th overall in the one mile event in 4:48.61, which will have her ranked amongst the best in the country in the 1500m race.

On Sunday Benson won the women’s 3000m event in a personal best time 9:54.76, which now has her ranked fifth in Canada West and 13th in the CIS. Her time was nearly eight seconds faster than the last time she competed at Dempsey Indoor in January.

“I think we know have a better understanding of where are entries are going to be for the Canada West championships,” Primeau said. “That’s what this meet was all about. It was a chance to learn a lot about ourselves and where we stand in Canada West and where we have to be over the next couple of years to be competitive.”

On a day filled with season’s and personal bests for the Spartans, triple jumper Eric Dupuis stood out for Trinity Western as he jumped a season’s best 13.42m, which placed him fifth overall. With that jump he is now ranked sixth in Canada West and 15th in the CIS.

Amongst other impressive results from Trinity Western was high jumper Emma Nuttall, who finished second on a countback with a day’s best jump of 1.75m. Although it was six centimetres off of her season’s best of 1.81m – a jump that has her atop the CIS rankings – her best jump on Sunday is still the third highest in the CIS this year.

Hazel Ross also had a strong day in the high jump, finishing in a tie for fourth at 1.65m as she was just one centimetre off of her season’s best. Ross also finished 11th in the 60m hurdles in a time of 9.13 and 18th in the long jump with a leap of 5.17m.

Also on the women’s side, Alison Jackson finished 15th in the 3000m in 10:19.98 while Marissa Ratzlaff was 12th in the 1000m with a personal best time of 3:12.78. Nikki Bell finished the one mile run in PB of 5:29.43, which placed her 31st.

In the 60m dash, Marie Belsterling finished in 8.49, which was 57th overall and Lisa Geck finished in 8.66, which place her 67th. In the long jump, Miranda Glenn had a jump of 4.50m, which was 53rd overall.

On the men’s side, Calum Innes finished amongst the top six in all three of his events as he was fourth in the 60m hurdles in 8.50, fifth in the 60m dash in 7.08 and sixth in the long jump with a leap of 6.68m.

In the 1000m, Andrew Ott had a PB of 2:33.83, which placed him ninth.

In the 600m, Ross Browne had an SB of 1:28.76, which was 13th overall, while Christian Culp also had an SB of 1:31.21, which was good for 17th.

In the 1 mile event, Jason Carwile finished in 4:25.87 and Chris Voth finished in 4:25.95, which had them 27th and 28th respectively.

Jake Powrie finished the 60m hurdles in 9.22, which was 33rd overall, and had a throw of 10.42m in the shot put, which placed him 31st.

The Spartans 4x400m entry, which included Adam Marchinkow, Christian Culp, Ross Browne and Andrew Ott, finished 13th in time of 3:35.36

Trinity Western will now gear up for the Canada West Championships which run Feb. 24-25 in Saskatoon, Sask.