UBC track and field athletes storm the track during their home opener

For the past two years the Rashpal Dhillon track has been quiet with student-athletes anxiously waiting for the announcement for the return of the NAIA season. While continuing to train through the uncertainty of their chance of competing again, the T-Birds showcased their skills during their first home meet of the season at the UBC Open on March 26 and 27.

Although the weather may not have been the ideal conditions for these athletes due to the rain pouring down Saturday morning, it didn’t seem to impact how the T-Birds performed as they did exceptionally well on and off the track.

Starting off the day with some ease, the race walk team hit the track and they truly set the tone for how the weekend would go. Olivia Lundman became a NAIA record holder for the women’s 5,000m race walk with a time of 23:12.53, writing her second broken record of the season in the books after recently breaking the 10,000m race walk record in February.

Joean Lu, Cassidy Cardle and Joanna Yu also passed the NAIA standard and qualified for the championships being held in Alabama. The men’s team didn’t hold back with Tyler Wilson, Kenny Ho, Erik Thies and Daniel Soliven all putting up times allowing them to qualify for the championships.

With the eight T-Birds race walkers already heading to Alabama, it was safe to say the spirits were high in the locker room for all the athletes. Off the track, UBC women's javelin dominated with first, second, and third being claimed by Hailey Kjaer, Jv Patry-Smith and Giovanna Janes all meeting the NAIA standard.

The sprinters also put up some good times with Chase Haagenson placing third in the men’s 100m with a time of 11.08 seconds and fourth in the men’s 200m with a time of 22.21 seconds.

On the women’s side, Cayla Smith placed eighth in the women’s 100m with a time of 12.47 seconds and fourth in the 200m with a time of 25.50 seconds.

The only T-Bird to compete in the 400m hurdles on either side was Nanaki Sangha who put up an impressive time of 1:10.97.

But no one can forget about the distance athletes as the 5,000m race was one to talk about. Starting on the women’s side, five T-Birds, Zoe Doorenspleet, Holly MacGillivray, Rachael Mortimer, Jamie Hennessey and Katie Newlove, all hit the NAIA standard claiming five of the top eight positions.

On the men’s side Tyler Dozzi set a fast pace for the race and achieved a PB of sub 14 minutes, getting a time of 13:57.14. The next closest T-Bird to finish was Joshua Kozelj in fifth place coming in with a time of 14:33.

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To see more results from UBC Open use this link: http://results.tfmeetpro.com/TBird_Timing/UBCOpen/