This website is used to disseminate information to the senior distance group of Winnipeg Optimist Athletics. Our group contains middle distance runners, including steeplechasers, long sprinters, including intermediate hurdlers, and a few who cross disciplines.
We affectionately call ourselves the Wombats, based on my mistaken perception that wombats were slow creatures…. (“We aren’t slow like wombats…”). One of my athletes at the time (we will call her Michelle), pointed out that she was pretty sure wombats were quick. Upon researching these cute marsupials, and discovering that they can run up to 40 km/h AND that they can kill a dingo with their hind legs, our moniker was born.
Cadence Christie wins the Tom Watson Mustang Invitational in Minneapolis!
Today, September 27, 2019, Cadence ran away from a strong field of gals to bring home the win at the Tom Watson Mustang Invitational cross country race. The race brings together athletes from many powerhouse schools from across North Dakota and Minnesota. Cadence took a 200m lead early in the race and built it to nearly 400m by race end, finishing the 5km race in a time of 19:24.7, eclipsing her nearest competitor’s time by a minute and a half! Congratulations!
Margrett Watt brings home the silver in women’s medley relay at the Western Canada Summer Games
Margrett ran the all-important 800 leg in the 400-200-200-800 medley relay to bring home the silver medal for Team Toba. In a leg she described as “a lot of fun,” she had a strong contribution in winning the silver.
Margrett running the 800m leg
Two Wombats help Manitoba to the Men’s 4x400m gold medal at the Western Canada Summer Games in Swift Current, SK
Noah Hoffman (middle left) running a 47 high split, and Noel Kendle (middle right) running a sub-50 split helped Team Manitoba to win the gold medal at the WCSG! In a time of 3:15.12, the team narrowly edged out Team Saskatchewan for the gold. In other relay news, Noah ran the 400m leg of the medley relay to help that team win gold and Margrett Watt ran the 800m leg of the medley relay to help the women’s team to a silver place finish. Pictures will be posted as they become available.
Angela Kroeker and William Boyle strike individual bronze at Western Canada Summer Games in Swift Current, SK
On the last day of competition at the WCSG (August 18, 2019), Angela Kroeker ran her second fastest time ever to win a bronze medal in a time of 10:42.23. William Boyle ran his fastest time ever in the 3000m, breaking nine minutes for the first time in winning his bronze medal in a time of 8:56.73.
Daniel Turon helps win a bronze medal in the 4x400m at the Legion Championships held in Cape Breton, NS
Taking the baton from Ty Cox-Yestrau, Daniel pushed himself to the limit before passing the baton to Hunter McLean, who then passed it to Justin Kroeker who held off Nova Scotia to gain the bronze medal for the Manitoba-Northwest Ontario Legion team. Congratulations Daniel!
Bronze medal for William Boyle at the Canadian National Youth Championships!
Will won the bronze medal with his second fastest time ever (6:05.95) in the 2000m steeplechase. In a thrilling finish, that included a near-drowning in the final water jump, Will got up off the ground to sprint to the finish!
Bronze medal for Ceci Howes at the Canadian National Youth Championships in Cape Breton!
Ceci ran a fine race today to earn a bronze medal in the 2000m steeplechase. Her race caps an excellent season where she won a silver medal at Juniors and made her first national team. Teammate Margrett Watt was fourth in the same race, while Erin Owens was 12th!
Bronze medal for Margrett Watt at the Canadian National Legion Youth Championships!
Congratulations go out to Margrett Watt for her personal best performance (4:34.25) in finishing third today. In a gutty run, where she challenged the leaders until the final straightaway, Margrett proved once again that she is willing to pay the price. Here we see Margrett being presented with her medal by her very proud coach! Ceci Howes was 6th overall.
Excellent performances by the Wombats at the Canadian Track & Field Championships!
Ceci Howes won the silver medal in the U20 Women’s steeplechase in a personal best, provincial record breaking time of 10:47.19.
Jack Taylor won the bronze medal in the U20 Men’s 800m, in a time of 1:53.16 in an exciting finish! The time was Jack’s second fastest time ever.
Margrett Watt ran a personal best in the U20 Women’s 1500m semi-final and another personal best in the final the next day (4:34.74) to finish fourth in her race. Later that day Margrett ran her third fastest 800m narrowly missing the final!
William Boyle breaks youth provincial record with an excellent run at TriProvince Championships in Regina!
Will ran an impressive 6:01.77 to break the Manitoba youth 2000m steeplechase record today, July 12, 2019 in Regina, SK. He finished second in an exciting race, and his time also broke the Saskatchewan youth record. In breaking the record, Will is now a Companion of the Order of the Wombat with all the rights and privileges that the honour brings him.
Ceci Howes wins silver medal for Canada in the U18 NACAC Championships in Santiago de Querétaro
Ceci experienced running at altitude for the first time in fine fashion, winning a silver medal for Canada (and herself) in the 2000m steeplechase! Congratulations on a fine performance!
Noel Kendle wins WCSG Trials in the 800m
Congratulations to Noel Kendle for winning the Western Canada Summer Games trials in the 800m with a personal best 1:56.55. Here we see Noel with his proud papa just after the race.
Ceci named to Canada’s U18 team; Ceci/Margrett hit world rankings
Congratulations to Ceci Howes for being named to the Canadian National U18 team heading to Mexico to compete this July against the NACAC countries. Also in an exciting turn of events, both Ceci and Margrett Watt have found themselves among the top 20 performances in the world on the IAAF U18 steeplechase list! Not a bad day at the office! Congratulations on all counts!
Record-breaking Weekend in Coquitlam (June 8, 2019)
Ceci Howes and Margrett Watt both broke the provincial record in the U18 Steeplechase for women. Erin Owens set a seasonal best! Ceci ran a stellar 6:51.97 to eclipse her record by a mind-blowing fifteen seconds. Margrett finished right behind her in 6:53.25 to also eclipse the record with a 21 second personal best! Thanks to TinaC for the picture and for being an excellent chaperone!
Ceci Howes (#19 in picture below) has now reset the three steeplechase records she has owned for the past year. At the Music City Distance Carnival on June 1, 2019, she ran 11:02.25 (now ranked 2nd U20 in Canada) to break her U20 and U18 3000 meter steeplechase provincial records. At the Athletics Manitoba Spring Open, Ceci reset the U18 2000 meter steeplechase provincial standard to 7:07.39 (now ranked 3rd U18 in Canada)! [All rankings as of 12:47pm June 3, 2019] PC – AndyT
At the SATT Classic on June 1, 2019, Noah Hoffman had a personal best in his fifth 400m run in the past two years. It was a stellar 48.86 and places him among the top 400m runners in the province ( AND 13th U23 in Canada). At the same meet, Jack Taylor (foreground) ran a MSPB (Manitoba Soil Personal Best) in the 800m of 1:54.93 (10th in U20 in the Canada). This goes with his time of 3:59.71 in the 1500m from the AM Spring Open (also 10th U20 in Canada). [All rankings as of 12:37pm June 3, 2019]
U-Sports – March 8, 2019
Jack Taylor ran the first leg of the USport Champion University of Manitoba 4x800m team to receive a gold medal and All-Canadian honours! (and induction into the Wombat Hall of Fame)
Boeing Indoor Championships, March 1-2, 2019
Sweep! Youth Guys go 1-2-3-4 !
Congratulations to Daniel Turon, Josh Gonzalez, Will Boyle and Heath Kurys!
Calvin Reimer breaks 2 minute barrier for the first time!
Congratulations for running 1:59.62 to become the eighth active Wombat to eclipse the two minute barrier!
Ceci Howes has massive personal best in the 3000m!
Ceci ran 10:11.13 in the 3000m to vault her into third place in the Canadian Youth Rankings. This goes hand in hand with her 2nd place national ranking the 1000m.
Simplot Games – Pocatello, Idaho – February 16, 2019
Erin Owens (495) finished 14th out of 165 athletes from across the western United States and Canada in a personal best time of 5:23.70 for the 1600m race. If the race had have been a mile she would have the fastest mile time in Canada for a 200m track. (photo from Boeing)
Canadian Cross Country Championships, November 24, 2019
Ceci Howes finished 10th at the Canadian Cross Country Championships held November 24, 2018 in Kingston (U18 Women). Angela Kroeker, Calvin Reimer, and William Boyle had fine performances as well!
2018 Athletics Manitoba Banquet Winners
Congratulations to the following Wombats on their awards won at the 2018 Athletics Manitoba Awards Banquet! Congratulations to other Wombats nominated (Trey, Josh, Jack, Will & Calvin) and the other winners!
- Erin Valgardson – Junior Athlete of the Year
- Cecilia Howes – Ron Melnichuk Distance Award
- Margrett Watt – Most Improved Athlete Award