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PREVIEW: Track and Field Nationals this Weekend

Madison Clarke and Maeliss Trapeau race for the Gee-Gees against two Guelph runners.

The U SPORTS Track and Field National Championships take place in Edmonton, with six Gee-Gees student-athletes travelling to take part. The Gee-Gees women's distance relay squad will look to defend its national bronze medal from last season, while pole vaulter Caroline Poirier will compete in her first U SPORTS nationals.

The event begins on Thursday with competition from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time (4 p.m. start ET) and continues Friday and Saturday. All events will be webcast on


Gee-Gees Day-by-Day:

Thursday: 600m heats

Friday: Women's Pole Vault, 1000m, 4x800m relay

Saturday: 600m final


In the 600m Madison Clarke, OUA silver medallist, and Maeliss Trapeau, OUA bronze medallist Ottawa will be on track on Thursday night. Last season, Trapeau qualified for the event final and finished sixth, but Clarke was seventh in the preliminaries and narrowly missed out on the final. Both women have top 6 times in the country this season, with Clarke ranked third. Although both Gee-Gees earned national medals with the relay team last year, neither has an individual national medal in their career.

Caroline Poirier enters nationals direct from a new personal best of 3.76 metres at OUAs, stepping onto the conference podium as the bronze medal winner. She will be in a deep field at nationals, entering with the sixth-best result of the season. Four women enter ahead with results of 3.90m or better. A new Gee-Gees record could be set though, as Poirier continues to literally raise the bar for the program.

Sydney Smith and Marie-Eve Dahms are travelling for the 4x800m relay, with Rebecca Brennan joining as an alternate. Trapeau teamed with Smith and Dahms along with Holly Hicks to take the relay bronze at the OUA Championships, and uOttawa enters the nationals ranked sixth nationally as three Canada West teams have faster times so far this season.