Thursday, December 09, 2004

Lisa's Race by Mike Coughlin

Lisa Labrecque Gives 100% at Nationals
by Mike Coughlin

Have you ever been in a race where you finished knowing you gave 100percent? I don't just mean a good solid effort, I mean the kind of effortwhere going back over the event you could not come up with a way you couldhave gone even 1 second faster. Ever done that? Well, Sudbury's LisaLabrecque had such an experience this past Saturday at the National crosscountry championships in Toronto. I have had the privilege of trainingwith Lisa a bit in recent weeks, and there was no question that she wasready for a personal best performance. With a 14th place at Nationals last year, this meant a good chance at cracking the top 10.

At Saturday's race, Lisa didn't just crack the top 10, she cracked the top 5with a stunning 5th place performance. In fact, Lisa was a mere 1 secondout of third, with placings 3-6 tearing across the line in a tight pack.

Talking to Lisa afterwards, it was clear that she had given everything,claiming that she had never been more completely expended at the end of arace. In going for it with everything she had, Lisa showed herself and therest of us what is possible when you commit yourself fully to a goal.

Great job Lisa! Details of her race and other local performances at this eventcan be found below in the Track North News Section.

Good Start to Season for Woods

University of Windsor Track and Field Press Release

Madeleine Woods, (Sudbury, ON - Track North) who is in her second year of competing for the Univerisity of Windsor's Indoor Track and Field Team (but first year running without being held together with glue and duct tape) started the 2004/2005 indoor season with some solid opening season performances at the annual Blue vs. Gold intrasquad meet held earlier this week.

Departing from her regular long sprint events, Madeleine took on the role of "track superhero" in attempt to lead her Gold team to victory. Despite outstanding performances of 7.50m in the shot (apparently the poor fellow stuck officiating this event strained his wrist because he had to shorten the measuring tape so much) and a 3000m time over 16 minutes (Madeleine was forced to finish this in the dark because everyone left and they turned the lights off), Woods' Gold Team was unable to catch Blue this year.

It should be noted that Madeleine did run times of 1:41.44 for the 600m (run solo) and 43.29 for the 300m at this low key meet. Both of these times are very close to Madeleine's best times from her injury plagued season last year and are a good indication of things to come this season. Woods also set a new 60m PB of 8.31 seconds and ran a 27.5 second 200m relay split and also competed in the 1000m race (no word on if the lights got turned off for that one as well but it's a safe bet).

Following the meet, Woods commented that she looks forward to some appointments with massage guru Rickey Goudreau upon her return to Sudbury for the Christmas holiday. She did not comment on whether or not she would continue as a multi-eventer but in an unrelated story, OTFA field event officials have planned an emergency meeting to discuss the possibility of replacing measuring tapes with short lightweight rulers to prevent future overuse injuries among officials.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Canadian XC Champs, Sunnybrooke Park

Canadian Cross-Country Championships, Sunnybrooke Park, Toronto
Lisa Labrecque, of Sudbury's Track North Athletic Club, placed 5th at the Canadian Cross Country Running Championships at Toronto's Sunnybrooke Park this weekend. Labrecque, a member of Canada's team at the 2004 World Championships,improved on last year's 14th place finish with a personal best time of 20:53 over the 6 km course.

With 600m to go, Labreque was 10 metres behind the lead pack,but mounted a furious finish to move to fifth place. Her time in the blustery conditions was only one second away from a bronze medal.

"I've been coaching for 25 years, and I've never seen a cross-country finish like that," said Track North coach, Dick Moss. The third through 6th runners were neck and neck over the last 60 metres. It was a like the final round of a heavyweight fight with everyone exhausted but still swinging with everything they had."

The race was a qualifier for Canada's team for the 2005 World Championships in St. Galmier France in March, and Labrecque's performance puts her in the selection pool for the team.

"I've never hurt that much with 600m to go and be still be able to kick," said a tired but happy Labrecque. "It was a huge improvement and I feel like I've stepped up a level. And I've improved my chances of making the funded 4k squad at Worlds. Last year that team finished third in the world and was only beaten by two African teams.

"Also in the race was Laurentian's standout rookie runner, Kirsti Dolson, who finished 38th with a time of 23:53. Dolson, the youngest runner in the race, and Labrecque, who is an assistant coach with Laurentian and a teacher with the Rainbow School Board, train together in Sudbury.

In the Junior race, were Kaitlyn Tallman, 89th in 20:15/5k and Emma Tallman, 120th in 21:15/5k out of 148 runners.

"This is a unique race." said Moss. "It brings together the best runners in every event from 800m to marathon, including Olympians, National Team members,and Canadian Champions. They put them all on the line at the same time,fire the gun and tell them to duke it out."

The race was was won by Hamilton's Rebecca Stallwood, followed by Calgary's Malindi Elmore, Vancouver's Leah Pells, Edmonton's Megan Metcalfe,then Lisa Labrecque.