© Copyright – 2013 – Athletics Illustrated

Sean Bayton is the manager of national coaching development at the Edmonton, Alberta-based Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre.

Recent changes with the University of Alberta varsity cross country and track and field programs include their partnership with the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre, details are discussed below however, the annual Golden Bear Open Track & Field competition is happening this weekend – January 18th to 20th at the Universiade Pavilion at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton. This is the largest indoor competition by numbers in Western Canada. This year they are gearing up for their largest, most dynamic event.

Christopher Kelsall: I understand that there have been some changes in the relationship between the University of Alberta varsity cross-country and track and field team and their partnership with the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre, yes?

Sean Baynton: Yes, July first of 2012 the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre and the Golden Bears/Pandas Track and Field programs joined forces to enrich the experience of track and field participants in Edmonton.

CK: Can you tell me about the Golden Bear indoor track and field meet that you have coming up?

SB: This year the GBO has undergone a number of changes to make it a more fan friendly competition with dedicated blocks of time towards collegiate, high school and youth competition. Accordingly, we have the largest GBO ever with over 900 athletes competing at all levels of sport. Unique to this year, Athletics Alberta is utilizing the GBO as a talent Identification opportunity for the 2013 Canada Games. To support this objective Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre, the University of Alberta Track and Field program and Athletics Alberta will host a Lessons from London banquet and panel featuring Derek Evely, Les Gramantik, Justin Warner, Nikita Holder.

CK: That is a solid panel. Where in town is the CACC located? Is it easy for people to find?

SB: The CACC is located on South Campus, within the Foote Field Complex at the University of Alberta. It is very easy to find.

CK: Apparently you have some very strong runners scheduled to compete including Tyler Smith – who ran 800m in 1:47 while in grade 11. Who else is competing?

SB: We do have a solid field that we are excited about, unfortunately, due to sickness, Tyler has had to pull out. Despite Tyler’s absence we still have a field that can haul.

– All 3 of the CIS medalists from the 2012 race will be here
– OUA & QSSF Gold medalists from 2012 will be here
– From Guelph: B.Boulet (1:50.77/2:26.01), T.Lecours (1:52.89/2:22.09-CIS Record Holder),   A.Romaniw (1:47.89/2:25.62)
– From Laval: C.Philibert-Thibodeau (1:49.17/2:22.74), J.S.Lapointe (1:51.16/2:22.68)
– From U of S: D.Guenther (1:52.88/2:28.23)
– From Phoenix Athletics: Kyle Smith (1:46.83/2:21.53)
– From Leduc T&F Club: Tyler Smith (1:47.96/2:29.12)
– 1-2 Rabbits going through 600m in 1:24-1:25

Beyond the men’s 1000 meter race, we also have a number of exciting races including a men’s 60 meter, a strong collegiate women’s 60 meter and 60 meter hurdles. The collegiate 4 x 200m also features the top western Canadian teams.

CK: What times are you expecting to see in each of those events? Who is going to win the showdown of the western teams in the 4 x 200?

SB: The Men’s 1000m Invitational event is going after CIS Standard – both Felix Antoine Lapointe (Coach at Laval) and Dave Scott-Thomas (Coach at Guelph) have asked for this as the minimum. Our rabbit is going through 500m with the intent of pulling the field to sub-2:22-2:23 pace. In DST’s words, “they are all here to haul”.  Anything can happen in the 4×2’s which is what makes it exciting. Each team has a shot of winning and we look forward to it being settled on the track.

CK: Why is the Golden Bear attracting such a quality field?

SB: There are a couple of reasons for the quality of the field this year. The first is that we are holding the 2013 CIS (Canadian InterUniversity Sports) Championships, the second is that we have one of the best facilities in the country to run fast in the speed/power events. The University of Alberta is committed to supporting multiple communities such as the CIS and programs who are committed to making a positive impact in the sport of track and field. The University of Alberta’s goal is to showcase the CIS to the Edmonton community.

Race Entrants:

Tommy Lecours – University of Guelph
1000m PB: 2:22.09 CIS Record
800m PB: 1:52.89

–       2012 CIS Gold Medalist 1000m & CIS Record

–       2012 OUA Bronze Medalist 600m

Benoit Boulet – University of Guelph
1000m PB: 2:26.01
800m PB: 1:50.77

–       2012 CIS Gold Medalist

–       2012 OUA 5th Place 1000m

Anthony Romaniw – University of Guelph
1000m PB: 2:25.62
800m PB: 1:47.89

–       2012 Athletics Canada Senior Championships 5th Place

–       2010 World Junior Championship Semi-Finalist 800m

Charles Philibert-Thibodeau – University of Laval
1000m PB: 2:22.74
800m PB: 1:49.17

–       2012 CIS Bronze Medalist 1000m & Silver Medalist 1500m

–       2012 QSSF Silver Medalist 1000m & Gold Medalist 1500m

–       2012 Athletics Canada Senior Championships 7th Place 1500m

–       2012 NACAC Silver Medalist 1500m

Jean-Samuel Lapointe – University of Laval
1000m PB: 2:22.68
800m PB: 1:51.16

–       2012 CIS Silver Medalist 1000m & 2011 Bronze Medalist

–       2012 QSSF Gold Medalist 1000m  & Silver Medalist 1500m

Kyle Smith – Phoenix Athletics
1000m PB: 2:21.53
800m PB: 1:46.83

–       2012 Athletics Canada Senior Championships 6th Place

–       2011 Athletics Canada Senior Championships Silver Medalist

–       2007 NCAA Indoor 800m Bronze Medalist

Davis Guenther – University of Saskatchewan
1000m PB: 2:28.23
800m PB: 1:52.88

–       2012 Canada West 5th Place 1000m & 4th Place 600m

–       2012 Athletics Canada Junior National 800m 7th Place

Tyler Smith – Leduc Track Club
1000m PB: 2:29.12
800m PB: 1:47.96

–       2012 Athletics Canada Junior National Silver Medalist 800m

–       2012 World Junior Championship Semi-Finalist 800m

–       2011 World Youth Championship Semi-Finalist 800m

Meet programme