World class track and field will make its long awaited return to the University of Guelph next Tuesday May 28th at the Speed River Inferno. Entering its fourth year, the meet is ready to take a major step forward from previous installments. After spending the past three years at the St James track, the meet has moved to a permanent home at the newly redone Alumni Stadium. Along with a new location the meet has brought on corporate partner New Balance. These two factors have contributed to incredible fields and what promises to be an outstanding evening of track and field. Included in the fields will be athletes representing five countries as well as five Olympians.
Headlining the event will be 2012 Olympian Alex Genest. Genest will be the feature attraction in a loaded men’s steeplechase, also included in the event will be Speed River's Taylor Milne and Chris Winter as well as international stars David Adams, Craig Forys and Andrew Poore. The women's 800 metres will be headlined by 2012 Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff, Stellingwerff will be challenged by club mate Rachel Aubry, also expected for the women's 800 are a pair of under twenty athletes looking to make their mark; Emma Galbraith will be targeting the Canadian Junior Record, while Kailee Sawyer will be looking for the Canadian Youth Record. University of Guelph Athlete of The Year Anthony Romaniw is another name to watch; the top ranked 800 metre runner in Canada is hoping to qualify for the World Championships in Moscow this summer at the meet. Race organizers have brought in Matt Scherer, widely regarded as the top pacemaker in the world, to help Romaniw achieve his goal. The Gryphons’ Female Co-Athlete Of The Year Andrea Secaffien leads a great women’s 5000 metres, which features seven members of the amazing Gryphon women’s cross country team that won their eighth consecutive CIS title.
“This will be the strongest meet we’ve hosted in many years and fans will be treated to a thrilling package of elite racing” commented University of Guelph and Speed River Head Coach Dave Scott-Thomas. “We’re excited to be showcasing our new facility” Scott-Thomas continued “the feedback so far has been that the track runs fast and we’re hoping that our first high end meet on it sees qualifying marks set for international events and shows what great hosts we can be.”
The meet will follow a European style program with all of the main program events being run within an hour time period. The pre-program will begin at 6:00 pm and the main program is slated to start at 7 pm with the women’s 5000 metres. The men’s steeplechase will be the final event of the program starting at 7:50 pm. Tickets for the event are $10 and can be purchased at the gate or online at www.speedriverinferno.com . There will also be a licensed area for spectators just beyond the finish line. Spectators will also be treated to free Speed River athletes trading cards.