The Marauders track team posted several personal best times at the largest indoor track meet of the year, the McGill Team Challenge.
Several of the Marauders were entered into the fast heats of each race, which helped them run to some incredibly fast times at the half-way point of the season. Taylor Forbes and Blair Morgan both ran to personal best times in the 3000m.
“Blair took the lead, and then Taylor took the lead over from Blair, and at a certain point you could see Taylor getting kind of tired, so Blair went back in the lead, so between the two of them, they kept on pace,” said head coach Paula Schnurr.
With about two laps to go in the race, a runner on the Queen’s team pushed to take the lead and fell. When he got up again, he made another push for first place.
But Forbes and Morgan were able to hold him off, and finish first and second overall in the distance.
Forbes ran a personal best of 8:19, and Morgan ran a personal best of 8:21.
“It’s always going to come down to a kick between (Taylor) Forbes and (Blair) Morgan,” said Schnurr.
The new track rules in place add a conversion factor onto the times ran on banked tracks versus flat tracks.
Because the track at the St. Denis Centre in Montreal is banked, a couple of seconds gets added onto each distance.
This means that although Forbes ran an 8:19 at McGill, with the conversion factor, he actually ran an 8:25.
This time, and Morgan’s time with the conversion factor of 8:27, has both of them ranked sixth and tenth overall in the CIS.
The next day, Forbes and Morgan ran a 1500m, which saw both of them reach new personal best times of 3:54 and 3:55.
Austen Forbes also ran to personal best times in the 3000m with an 8:28 and in the 1500m with 4:00.
Although the Forbes are tearing up the track so far this season, their time training for track will be cut short, as they will be making a trip to Florida in February to compete in their first triathlon of the season.
This means that Taylor Forbes will be missing out on the competitive Valentine Invitational at Boston University.
The track team makes the trip to Boston every year, and only select a couple of athletes that will be able to compete with some of the elite competition that the States has to offer.
“You always wonder the difference there with him doing all the other training…there is still a bit of fatigue there from biking and swimming, because running isn’t his only focus,” said Schnurr.
“But that’s what they want to do…certainly the cross-training is helping them.”
Chelsea Mackinnon also did well on the weekend, having a hard-fought race in the 1000m where she had to make up ground and play catch-up after a runner fell in front of her.
“When that kind of thing happens, you think okay, that’s it the race is over for that person, because they’re out of the race and they spend all this energy and adrenaline to get back in, but she was great and she just kept moving through and closing the gap and kept on working,” said Schnurr.
Despite the obstacles on the track, Mackinnon still ran a very fast time of 2:55, finishing ninth overall out of 55 runners, and is ranked 12th overall in the CIS for the 1000m.
The following day, she ran in the fast section of the very competitive 1500m, and finished fourth overall, running to a personal best time of 4:36.
“That’s one of the best races competitively that she has ran,” said Schnurr.
Mackinnon is ranked 17th overall in the CIS in the 1500m.
Maddie Benjamin also ran to a personal best time in the 1500m, running a 4:45 in the distance.
In the men’s 1000m, Jeff Tweedle had a standout race, finishing sixth overall out of 47 runners and running a 2:27. His time at the flat track at the Don Wright Invitational on Jan. 17 has him ranked 12th in the CIS.
Jeff Mah ran to a personal best time in the 600m, running a 1:22 which put him in 13th place out of 56 runners.
The majority of the Marauders will be gearing up for the York Invitational on Jan. 31, while Blair Morgan, Chelsea Mackinnon and Jeff Tweedle will prepare for the Valentine Invitational at Boston University the following weekend.
Photo Credit: Maxine Gravina