Epoch and Ferguson hit stride in 3,000m race
Taylor Kell’s body heaved as she tried to catch her breath, lying on the grass at Gutheridge Field.
© Katie Brickman
Libby Epoch of Peacock and Taylor Kell of Central battled early on in the junior girls 3,000 metre race on Tuesday evening at Gutheridge Field. Athletes will vye for spots at the district meet today at the Moose Jaw section meet. The top three quality for districts next week. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
It seemed like she couldn’t get enough oxygen into her lungs after running her first 3,000-metre race of the season.
“I’m tired, but I felt good and I am really close to my personal best from last year, so I am happy with the outcome,” said Kell. “It was a tough race, but I managed to pull through.”
Central’s Kell came second to Libby Epoch from Peacock at the first event of the Moose Jaw section meet on Tuesday evening in the junior girls division.
The two have good battles on the track each year and in most of their events, but this particular race is where Epoch is stronger.
“That was plan … keep up with her. I thought I did well. I don’t think I have ever kept up that much before in the 3,000,” said Kell. “This race is longer and she is definitely better at the longer races.”
Epoch quickly took the front lead in the race, that saw all midget, junior and senior girls run together. Kell kept with her for the better part of the race, but Epoch was able to put some space in between her and all the other runners.
“I knew she was going to stay with me and I was just hoping I could pull away at the end and take it at the finish,” said Epoch.
Epoch finished in 11:28.48 and Kell came in behind at 11:49.92 and Erin Winterton came in third in a time of 12:37.55 in the junior division.
“I was just trying to keep my pace and I was more worried about my times,” said Epoch.
That time was two seconds faster than Epoch’s time at last year’s provincials.
“It feels good to know that I am improving,” she said.
Kell also races in the 400m dash, 800m race and the 1,500m. Although she has secured a spot at districts, as the top three qualify, she isn’t sure she will participate next week.
“With four races, I am not sure I am going to continue doing this race for districts. I might focus on my other ones,” said Kell.
The senior boys set a high tempo pace at the start, but it resulted in a new personal best for Daniel Ferguson.
“It felt like death. It was hard,” said Ferguson. “The opening pace was crazy.”
Central’s Nathan Avery took the early lead and kept a fast pace that both Ferguson and Graeme Fish, both from Peacock stayed with.
With only a couple laps to go, Ferguson took the lead and continued to push the pace and finished with a time of 9:59.09.
“I cracked 10 for the first time and beat my PB (personal best) by about 10 seconds,” said Ferguson. “It feels great.”
Ferguson, Fish and Avery have all qualified for districts next week, which will be another difficult race.
“I am not over-confident,” said Ferguson. “It was a really close race and it could go any way.”
- Tannis Carle, VCI (13:07.47)
- Emily Deobald, AEP (13:24.24)
1. Libby Epoch, AEP (11:28.48)
2. Taylor Kell, CCI (11:49.92)
3. Erin Winterton, CCI (12:37.55)
4. Taylor Schlamp, AEP (15:09.78)
1. Courtney Hunter, AEP (12:48.78)
2. Allyson Fitzgerald, VCI (13:01.19)
3. Paige Hager, AEP (13:41.13)
4. Keanna Myers, AEP (14:27.52)
1. Meko Cridland, AEP (10:37.77)
2. Alex Fish, CCI (11:55.92)
3. Nic Marotta, AEP (13:41.70)
1. Kalen Roney, AEP (10:32.06)
2. Kurtis Munro, AEP (12:05.76)
3. Jalen Mikuliak, CCI (12:09.98)
4. Chad Buchko, VCI (12:11.44)
5. Colton Pratt, VCI (12:31.27)
1. Daniel Ferguson, AEP (9:59.09)
2. Graeme Fish, AEP (10:06.95)
3. Nathan Avery, CCI (10:13.06)
4. Niko Wicharuk, CCI (11:28.62)
Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.