Airdrie-raised university athlete Jinaye Shomachuk chucked her way to a national gold medal at the U Sports national championships in Saskatoon this past weekend.
The Bert Church High School alumna and second-year University of Pronghorns throws athlete claimed top spot in the women's weight throw thanks to a distance of 18.75 metres (m). The 19-year-old's distance was more than a metre farther than second-place Emily Fawcett of the Guelph Gryphons, who threw the 20-pound weight 17.67 m.
This marks Shomachuk's first national championship at the university level. She's previously won national gold medals at the youth (U18) level, as well as at the recent Canada West track-and-field championships.
Shomachuk also competed in the women's shot put at nationals, finishing in 12th place with a distance of 11.59 m.
"I can't begin to put into words how much this year has meant to me, both in and out of the circle," Shomachuk wrote on Instagram after the national meet. "I didn't think it entirely possible to dig myself out of the rut that first year put me in, but I did, and that's in part thanks to the people in these photos, the rest of the Pronghorns track team, and my friends...and family.
"I'll always want to throw further and push myself, but I'm by no means upset with how nationals played out. I didn't even qualify for nationals in shot put last year, and not a single foul in weight are both steps in the right direction. The big chuck is coming one day, and until then, I'll grind on."
MacDonald claims two top-five finishes
Also representing Airdrie at last weekend's U Sports national track championships was George McDougall High School alumna Sienna MacDonald. The University of Calgary multi-event specialist competed in the women's pentathlon in Saskatoon, as well as the women's 60-m hurdles and women's long jump.
Competing at her second U Sports national championships, MacDonald finished fourth in the pentathlon with 3,858 points, sixth in the hurdles with a finals time of 8.53 seconds, and fifth in the long-jump with a distance of 5.79 m.
For full results, visit Track & Field — U SPORTS (usports.ca)