EDMONTON – Nikita Case broke her own Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference record in the women's 600 metres to lead MacEwan's results at the University of Alberta's Pandas Open over the weekend.
Finishing fourth in the field with a run of 1:35.33, Case was more than half a second faster than her record of 1:36.16, set last season during the MacEwan University Invitational.
"She went out really hard and basically she just hung on," said Griffins coach Drew Carver. "Her training's really kicking in so now she's beginning to find her stride. I think if everything goes well, I would hope she runs even faster at our championship."
Teammate Shehzadi Abdul finished 21st in the women's 600 in 1:48.53, which gives her a seed time going into next month's ACAC Championship, hosted by MacEwan on March 9-10 at the Kinsmen Field House.
Roxanne Skoreyko also put down a time in the women's 1500, finishing 19th in 5:03.07.
"They ran pretty good," said Carver. "Hopefully they've got qualifying times now to be in the fast heat at the championship. That's what this track meet was all about – getting them a good time so they could have a seed time that will put them in the right race."
Reigning ACAC women's indoor track athlete of the year, Hannah Leggatt, was upset in the women's 3000 metres on Friday, finishing almost a second behind SAIT's Ricki Christopher. In an event she won by nearly seven seconds at the ACAC Championship last season, she obviously has a challenge on her hands now.
"We got a little bit of surprise," said Carver. "SAIT's got a girl who's going to challenge Hannah. She beat her in the 3000.
"I don't know how it's going to work out in that she's devoted more of her time to her studies this time around."
In the demanding Nursing program at MacEwan, Leggatt hasn't had as much time to train as she did last year. Her finish at the Pandas Open – 10:39.24, good for fifth to Christopher's 10:38.28 fourth – is still faster than the race she ran at the ACAC Championship a year ago. But it was on a faster track and is nearly 10 seconds behind her personal best.
Griffins sprinters Colin Walker and Omar Medina had personal bests in the men's 300 metres – Walker was 20th in 38.32 and Medina was 22nd in 38.43 – but they both fell more than a second-and-a-half short of making the final 12 at the meet.
"Both of them ran their best times indoors, so they're both improving," said Carver. "Hopefully when we get to the championship they'll be even a little bit faster."
In the men's 1000 on the weekend, MacEwan's Scott Kohlman finished 19th in 2:43.18, while Dylan Zambonelli was 24th in 2:54.89.
That ends the Griffins' competition slate until the ACAC Championship.
"We're just going to strictly train and hopefully all the injury bugs are gone and the athletes are ready to go," said Carver.