Runner guts it out for medal
Track: Heritage Pointe runner on podium at provincials
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013 06:00 am
A runner from Heritage Pointe gave it her all and more at the Alberta Indoor Track and Field championships earlier this month.
Gillian Ceyhan, a Grade 11 student at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School, took home the silver medal in the youth division of the 1,500m at the championships on March 2 in Edmonton.
“When we were driving up to Edmonton I had the stomach flu or ate something funny,” said Ceyhan, who was running for the CALTAF club at the indoor provincials. “During the 1,500, I thought I was going to get sick and well, when I finished the race I then went right to the garbage can…”
Ceyhan said although her goal was to win the gold in Edmonton, she was pleased with her performance while battling illness.
“I thought I could have gone a bit faster — I had beaten the girl who won — but I was happy with it with the condition I was in,” Ceyhan said.
Her time of 4:58.19 was still a personal best for indoor track and field in the 1,500m. Indoor times are slower because it is a 200m track as opposed to 400m, resulting in more and tighter curves.
Ceyhan’s illness forced her to pull out of the 800m final. She won the high school provincial track and field championship in that distance last June.
With the outdoor season fast approaching, Ceyhan admitted she has taken a liking to distances longer than 800m.
“I am excited for the track and field outdoor season — I want to go to provincials for both club and my school in both the 800m and 1,500m,” Ceyhan said. “I feel like I am going to be favouring the 1,500m this year.
“After my success in cross-country last fall, I feel I might like the mid-distances like the 1,500 more this year.”
Ceyhan won the high school cross-country championship (4,000m) in the fall.
She wasn’t the only foothills track athlete to medal in Edmonton.
Sierra Sherman, a Grade 12 student at Holy Trinity Academy, won the bronze medal in the women’s 200m. The Priddis area athlete clocked in at 26.88 seconds.
Her younger brothers, twins Michael and Christian Sherman, also did well in Edmonton.
Michael was second in the youth 60m dash at 7.28 while Christian just missed winning a medal as he was fourth in the youth’s 200m at 23.92.
Michael Quick, a Grade 12 student at Holy Trinity Academy, finished fourth and fifth in the 800m and the 1,500m respectively.
Quick also turned in a solid performance at a major track meet in the United States in late February.
The 17-year-old was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the top runners in North America on the podium at the Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho.
Quick’s time of 1:59.53 in the 800m was the fastest of the nine runners in the Men’s B final on Feb. 16. His time was also fast enough to move him up to sixth-place overall — the final spot on the podium at the games.
There were 110 runners entered in the event, coming from Missouri to Washington, east to west, and of course, Canada to the north.
Quick opened the Games with a 2:02.24 in his preliminary heat in the 800m on Feb. 15. Respectable, but it put him 10th overall, good enough to qualify for one of the 27 spots in the finals, but he would be in the second of three final groups. The times from the three final heats would determine the final placing.
“I just missed out,” Quick said of being in the A final. “I thought I was pretty slow in the preliminary. I should have kicked earlier and I left it too late.”
In the B final, Quick was the top seed, which meant he was racing the clock and not necessarily his opponents.
“I was really disappointed I didn’t make the A final because then I would have been running against the best runners,” Quick said. “I had to run an indoor PB (personal best) to get on the podium.
“My strategy was take the bull by the horns. I led from the start to the finish.”
He said his poor performance in the preliminary heat was a motivating factor in getting an indoor personal best time of 1:59.53 in the final. His outdoor PB is around 1:57.
The 800m championship was won by Tyler Smith of Leduc in a blistering time of 1:51.46 more than four seconds faster than the second-place runner from Boise, Idaho.
John Cannon, Quick’s coach with the Calgary International Track Club, said being with a slower group in the preliminaries hurt his runner. However, the coach said he was pleased with how Quick kicked into a higher gear in the B final, when his opponents did not push him too hard.
“I guess you are always pushed a bit, but Michael won by about 20 metres,” he said.
Elsewhere, Sierra Sherman was a member of the CITC 4x200m women’s relay team which made it to the finals, but then bobbled the baton during an exchange and finished off the podium.