The St. Thomas native is second with PBs in both men's shot put and weight throw
while Knelsen helps Western's 4x8 relay team attain the standard for U Sport Nationals
March 10, 2022
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - A.J. Stanat brought home a pair of provincial silver medals.
Stanat set personal best distances in both men's shot put (15.61 metres) and weight throw (19.07m), at Athletics Ontario (AO) U20 indoor championships, at York University, in Toronto, March 12.
"I thought my throws went well overall," Stanat said. "The U20 championship was the first meet that I competed with the 25-pound weight and six kilogram shot put, so I had to slightly alter my timing from the university weights."
The implements for Ontario University Athletics (OUA) competition are heavier with the 35-pound weight and 16 pound shot. When athletes move from AO U20 meet to U23, the same weights are used as at university meets.
"It was a bit difficult to adjust to the lighter weights at first, especially since I'm able to move a lot quicker in the circle," Stanat said. "But I was able to maintain control of the implement before finishing the throw."
Next for Stanat, who competes with the University of Windsor Lancers, are the OUA indoor championships, at York University, March 18-19.
"My main goals would be to throw consistently far and break the 14-metre mark for both events, said Stanat.
Luna top 10 twice
Jadyn Luna, from Thorndale, with the London-Western club, placed second in women's shot put (9.43m) and ninth in long jump (4.59m), at the AO U20 meet.
Knelsen helps Mustangs' 4x8 qualify
Hallee Knelsen, of Malahide, helped the Western Mustangs women's 4x800-metre relay team attain the time standard, to automatically qualify for the U Sports indoor track and field championships, placing second, at the Mustangs Twilight meet, at Western University, March 11. Completing the team is Chloe Hewitt and the Coutts sisters, Sophie and Chloe.
The Mustangs' time of eight minutes and 51.45 seconds (8:51.45) was under the auto standard of 9:01.24. The University of Guelph won the race in 8:47.89. Those are now the two fastest times in the country, adjusted for track size to 8:41.88 for Guelph and 8:45.40, for Western.
Knelsen will be attending the National meet in four events, two individual and two relays. The 18-year old freshman has auto qualified in the women's 600, with the fourth fastest time of 1:29.69, sits seventh in the U Sports top 12 for the 1000 metres with a time of 2:47.82 and is on Western's 4x8 and 4x4 relay teams. The 4x4 has the third fastest time in the country (3:51.29).
Even with success in her first year, it's been a learning curve for Knelsen, on managing her practices with classes in the Health Sciences program.
"You're constantly working whether that's running or school work. It's really taxing on the body," Knelsen said. "In high school, I could put in everything I had for every workout and I'd be fine two days later for the next workout. This year, I learned it's ok in workouts not to go that extra step. Sometimes it's better to do what you can that day. That's some days putting every thing you have in to it and some days not. Sometimes you need to have more of a recovery workout. You try to keep yourself from burning out."
Hunter reaches goal in final year
Hunter Smith, of St. Thomas, concluded her university career finishing fourth in weight throw, at the Twilight meet.
"I would have to say the number one highlight of my career was the feeling of finally surpassing 13 meters in weight throw," Smith said. "I had a lot of set backs in my early career and finally improving and seeing all my hard work pay off definitely was a great way to end my career."
At the York invitational in February, Hunter hit five personal bests in one series and ended the meet with a 13.10-metre throw.
The Psychology and Criminal Justice student is a graduate of Central Elgin Collegiate Institute and was a two-time award winner of the Titan of the Year.
Brady Fodor, of Shedden, with the Mustangs, threw 13.61 metres in men's shot put, at the Twilight meet.
Due to the depth of Western's throw teams, Fodor, a second year accounting student, but in his first year of eligibility for athletics, won't be attending provincials.
Para athlete Madie Wilson-Walker hasn't trained over the past weeks due to an infection, but the Avon resident feels confident to be long jumping at OUA provincials.