Sifuentes_Flash© Copyright – 2014 – Athletics Illustrated

Winnipeg’s Nicole Sifuentes won bronze in the 1500 metre distance at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships. In that race she also took the Canadian indoor record by finishing in the time of 4:07.61, the previous record was 4:08.18, which was held by Carmen Douma-Hussar. Even though this performance was a great success, it’s early; Sifuentes’s big goal for the upcoming outdoor track season is to make the Canadian team headed to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, “My top priority for 2014 is the Commonwealth Games and that hasn’t changed. I placed 5th in the Delhi Games, so this year I am aiming to be on the podium. However, I am hopeful that winning a medal at Indoor Worlds will help me get confirmed for entry into some Diamond League meets before and or after CWG,” said the Michigan resident.

In regards to the World Indoors, her main goal was to make the final. After that, she knew going in that anything can happen in the final. “As a secondary goal, I had hoped that racing at World Indoors would give me a chance to run fast and set a new Canadian record,” said Sifuentes when asked about her World’s goals.

Sifuentes’s previous indoor best time was 4:10.92 from 2012. Her outdoors best is 4:04.65, which she accomplished in May of 2013. To qualify for the Commonwealth Games in the 1500 metre distance, she will need to run 4:09.00 for the B-standard or 4:05.50 for the A-standard by June 1st.  By appearances, qualifying shouldn’t be an issue. She also owns an 800 metre best time that is slightly better than the Commonwealth Games B-standard of 2:01.50, as she has run as fast as 2:01.30 from July 2012.  With much of North America having been in the grip of one of the coldest winters in decades, it is a surprise that she got in the required training to perform well, so early, “It’s funny because the weather this winter has been so brutal – I’ve been saying all along I don’t know how anyone got fit this season living in the “polar vortex.” I did get out to Phoenix for two 10-day training blocks (one in Jan and one in Feb), which went very well. I had a solid fall of training, nothing spectacular but very consistent. I haven’t had one day of illness or injury.”

She credits Coach Mike McGuire, who she said knows exactly what training to provide and when. “My confidence in his guidance is always increasing.” she added. McGuire is in his 24th season as Associate Head Coach of the women’s team at the University of Michigan, her alma mater. He has earned two nods as USTFCCCA Track and Field Assistant Coach of the Year for his work in 2005 as well as 2007. Under his guidance the women have won at least nine Big Ten titles, five straight from 2002 to 2006, some of which Sifuentes was a part of. She was also a relay star, earning an NCAA record double win in the 4 x 1500 metre relay, as well as the 4 x 800-metre relay at the prestigious 2007 Penn Relays, meet.

Although her race schedule is not yet confirmed her plans may include the National Track League to try to achieve the games standard early.