Epoch surges to memorable silver finish

Matthew Gourlie
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Libby Epoch knows what it's like to cross a finish line while looking at Aurilla Wilson's back.

Peacock's Libby Epoch, left, makes her move to pass Aurilla Wilson from Balgonie Greenall over the final 20 metres in the junior girls 1,500m final at the SHSAA provincial track and field championships in Moose Jaw

Friday was different. She made sure of it.

With 20 metres left in the junior girls 1,500-metre race, Epoch realized Wilson was finally within reach. The Peacock Grade 10 student, gritted her teeth, dug down deep and beat Wilson to the finish line to finish second in the 1,500m race at the SHSAA provincial track and field championship at Gutheridge Field.

"I thought it was all I had, but as I got closer to her, I thought 'I can give more, I can give more' and I just booked 'er into second gear," said Epoch who was a 1/10th of a second ahead of Wilson. "She usually beats me and I figured she would beat me by the usual 100 metres. I was so surprised."

Shayne Uhryn from Saskatoon's Tommy Douglas won the race in 5:01.45 — more than three seconds ahead of Epoch's time of 5:04.80.

Wilson, from Balgonie Greenall, had beaten Epoch twice at the provincial cross-country championship and last year in the 3,000m and the 1,500m at track provincials. When Wilson won the midget girls 1,500m a year ago — Uhryn was second — Epoch finished eighth, more than 22 seconds off the pace.

"I never even expected to medal this year. It felt so great," said Epoch. "I was ranked sixth going in, so I wanted to do that well or better. Halfway through I started thinking 'I think I can get a medal.'"

Central's Taylor Kell, who finished sixth, pushed to the front of the pack on the second lap. Epoch also made a move at the same time and settled into fourth.

"I was trying to stay with (Kell) because she's around the same time as me. When she went, I went too," said Epoch. "I knew I needed to stick near the front. I thought if I could stick with some of the girls that are faster than me then we would hopefully lose the rest of the pack."

Wilson was six seconds off of her winning time from a year ago and Epoch emptied the tank to stay with her.

"It was all I had to do today. I could just give it my all and then go home and rest," said Epoch who will compete in the 3,000m Saturday.

"I have a better 3,000 time, so hopefully I can move up in that race too."

Organizations: Peacock Grade 10

Geographic location: Saskatoon

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