LANGLEY, British Columbia – For the Spartans men’s track and field team, this weekend’s season-opening competition could well be the start of something historically special at Trinity Western.
This year’s team is arguably the most talented group that has ever been assembled at TWU and, with a dynamic collection of both veterans and youngsters, there’s every reason to believe the Spartans men could be embarking on an unprecedented run.
As a team, the Spartans have never finished higher than second at the conference championships and seventh at the national championships. This year, that could change.
The Spartans open their season this Saturday at the University of Washington’s Indoor Preview at Dempsey Indoor in Seattle.
2016 Team Results
U SPORTS Championship Standings: 16th
Canada West Championship Standings: 4th
2016 Individual Medals
Gold – Nathan George (300m)
Gold – Cale Hernandez
Bronze – Nathan George (300m), James Linde (Long Jump), Nathan Dunford (Pole Vault)
(Bold = Returning Athlete)
ATHLETES TO WATCH
Nathan George (5th-year): Last year, he became the first Spartan on the men’s side to capture a gold medal at the national championships, winning the 300m in a Spartans record 33.52. He followed that up by winning the 400m title at the Canadian track and field championships in the summer. Including last year’s gold medal, he’s now a three-time U SPORTS medallist (silver in 2014 and 2015) and a three-time Canada West medallist (gold in 2014, silver in 2015 and bronze in 2016).
Calum Innes (5th-year): After missing last year’s conference and national championships, Innes is back for one last run at a U SPORTS gold medal in the 60m hurdles. Innes is a four-time Canada West champion in the 60m hurdles and a two-time national silver medallist with a personal record of 7.89.
Declan White (4th-year): Coming off a national silver medal and a Canada West gold at the 2016 cross country championships, White enters the indoor season looking to build on his remarkable fall success. In 2015, he earned a U SPORTS bronze medal in the 3000m, but last year he battled injuries throughout the season and didn’t qualify for nationals. This year, he will be a middle distance medal contender at both the conference and national championships.
James Linde (5th-year): Linde holds the TWU long jump record of 7.28m and, in 2014, he captured a bronze medal at the national championships. He also has Canada West medals in both long jump (silver in 2014 and bronze in 2016) and the 60m (bronze in 2015).
Joel De Schiffart (5th-year): De Schiffart finished eighth overall and second only to White amongst Canada West runners at the cross country championships in the fall. In 2015, he won a Canada West bronze medal in the 3000m, but if his fall performance is any indication, this year will be his best yet as a Spartan.
Aaron Postma (1st-year): The graduate of Abbotsford Christian Secondary came to TWU this year after winning triple jump gold at the BC high school championships. In his first year at the university level, he has the potential to be a medal threat at both the conference and national championships.
Denzel Brown (1st-year): Like Postma, the first-year Brown has a chance to make a valuable contribution to the Spartans team success right from the outset of his university career. Brown was the triple jump silver medallist at last year’s provincial championships – bettered only by Postma – and he has the potential to have an instant impact with TWU.
David Boyd (4th-year): Boyd only started training as a pole vaulter this year, but under the watchful eye of coach Rob Pike, he has already been fast-tracked to early season success. After just a few months in the vault pit, he has already cleared 4.40m and could be a dark horse contender come the championship season.
Nathan Dunford (4th-year): The three-time Canada West medallist in pole vault (gold in 2014, silver in 2015 and bronze in 2016) is suffering from mononucleosis and may not be able to compete this year. Otherwise, he would be amongst TWU's best bets to win a national championship medal.