UBC Women defend NAIA title in Kansas

Maria Bernard

Maria Bernard

British Columbia Claims Third-Straight National Championship

Thunderbirds’ Maria Bernard Also Takes Individual Crown

November 22, 2014

By Mike DeVader, Communications & Sports Information Intern

LAWRENCE, Kan. – (Results) On a dreary, breezy day at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan., the British Columbia Thunderbirds put on a masterful performance to capture the national title in the 35th Annual NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Championships on Saturday.

British Columbia has now won three-consecutive banners, joining fellow Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) member Cal State San Marcos as the last team to accomplish such a feat. The A.I.I. now owns the last six team national titles.

This is the third championship in school history for British Columbia.

Leading the charge for the Thunderbirds in the 5-kilometer championship was NAIA All-American Maria Bernard – who finished third at the event last year – and took home the 2014 individual championship with a time of 17:03. The Thunderbirds flew away from the 36 other competing teams by placing three runners in the top four, and all five countable competitors finished in the top 29.

By virtue of finishing in the top 30, British Columbia’s Amelie de Fenoyl (3rd; 17:39), Natalia Hawthorn (4th; 17:45), Jackie Regan (10th; 18:11) and Tamara Harris (29th; 18:35) all join Bernard as All-Americans.

The No. 1-ranked squad in the final NAIA Women’s Cross Country Top 25 Poll compiled a team score of 43 – which was 98 points ahead of second-place and No. 4 Lewis-Clark State’s (Idaho) 141. Rounding out the top five was third-place and third-ranked Northwest Christian (Ore.) (181), No. 6 Carroll (Mont.) (234) and second-ranked Dordt (Iowa) (235).

Oklahoma Baptist’s Hannah Fields came in second with a time of 17:34. This is the second-straight year Fields has crossed the finish line in second-place at the championships. Coming in fifth with a time of 17:48 was Lindsey Martin of Columbia (Mo.).


Maria Bernard and Jack Williams win NAIA regional cross country as UBC teams take gold and Silver


UBC women when regional NAIA meet

UBC women when regional NAIA meet

The University of British Columbia won its third straight A.i.i. Conference Women’s Cross Country title on Saturday.

CLINTON, IOWA – Claiming seven of the top nine individual spots Saturday, the nation’s top-ranked women’s cross country team, the University of British Columbia – strolled to a three-peat at the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Women’s Cross Country Championships held at Ashford University.

The Thunderbirds behind All-American Maria Bernard swept the top three individual spots en route to and 18-point team performance to easily outdistance runner-up California State San Marcos for the team title. CSUSM finished with 42 points, while Johnson & Wales (Colo.) finished third with 109 points.

Maria Bernard

Maria Bernard

Bernard claimed the individual crown with a time of 17 minutes, 2.9 seconds over the 5,000 meter course. Bernard’s teammate Natalia Hawthorn followed in second with a time of 17:26.5, while Amelie De Fenoyl was third in 17:34.6.

UBC’s Jackie Regan collected a fifth-place finish in 17:57.1, while Tamara Harris was seventh (18:12.9), Sandra Kilmartin eighth (18:20.3) and Kirsten Lee ninth (18:31.4).

Three CSUSM runners were the only other runners to finish in the top 10 as Kate Bouvatte placed fourth (17:15.6), Natalie Rodriguez sixth (18:04.8) and Charlotte Kuzminski tenth (18:55.3).

For full results from the A.i.i. Champions go to: /d/2014-15/A_I_I__Women’s_Cross_Country_Results.pdf


 Association of Independent Institutions Men’s Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Ashford University won by California State University at San Marcos

The Cougars captured five of the top seven individual spots to claimed their seventh straight men’s cross country conference title by holding off the University of British Columbia. California State University at San Marcos finished with 23 points, while UBC had 33 in a 1-2 finish in the team race. Johnson & Wales (Colo.) placed third with 106 points.

Jack Williams

Jack Williams

UBC tried to snap the CSUSM streak as the Thunderbirds’ Jack Williams claimed individual conference honors with a winning time of 25 minutes, 20.3 seconds over the 8,000 meter course. But CSUSM would claim five of the next six individual spots to successfully defend the title.

CSUSM’s Enrique Ramirez paced the Cougars with a second-place finish in a time of 25:23.8, while his teammate Steven Ing followed in third at 25:26.7. The Cougars would then take the five thru seven places behind Andrew Tallamas (25:56.6), Zachery Laurenzana (26:01.2) and Easton Tackett (26:03.9).

Daniel Ybarra rounded out the top-10 finishes for CSUSM placing 10th with a time of 26:16.3.

Behind Williams for UBC, Evan Elder placed fourth (25:34.2), Ben Thorne eighth (26:09.5), Bilal Shamsi ninth (26:11.9) and Devin Rajala 11th (26:25.4).

For complete results from the meet, go to:



Dragomir a Dragon for CAC


Gerry Dragomir, Ben Thorne and Caleb Chan

Gerry Dragomir, Ben Thorne and Caleb Chan


Race walk coach Gerry Dragomir recipient of prestigious CAC Coach of the Year Award



Athletics Canada is extremely proud to announce that race walk coach Gerry Dragomir has been named as the 2014 recipient of the Coaching Association of Canada’s (CAC) Jack Donohue “Coach of the Year” Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions of a Canadian Coach who exemplifies the great qualities of the legendary Jack Donohue. These qualities include honesty, integrity, a positive attitude, competitiveness, and a love of sport.

Gerry is the personal coach to a very talented group of race walkers in British Columbia that includes Evan Dunfee, Inaki Gomez and Ben Thorne. Inaki represented Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games and all three were members of the 2013 IAAF World Championships team.

Athletics Canada caught up to Gerry prior to receiving his award this evening at the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership conference.


AC:  How did you get into coaching?


Gerry: I started coaching a few years ago, I think it was 1978. One of my boss’ daughters wanted to play softball and there was no coach for the team. I did that for 25 years, gave it up and decided I need to become an athlete. My coaching career was behind me. Around 2000 Evan Dunfee came along and was the most incorrigible little character and no one was going to coach him on race walking. So I picked up with that, he kept getting better and I kept getting better. I kept upgrading my coaching skills to get to the next level in order to keep up with him. Afterwards we picked up Inaki and a few others, most recently Ben Thorne and it’s continued to progress. I don’t really understand why but it’s doing what it’s doing.


AC: Your group has grown of it’s own volition and you don’t have any plans for world domination?



ry: No, that is our plan. In 2000, two other young people and Istarted a race walk club. For some reason, the application required us to determine what our club vision was. So we put ”Total World Domination”. We figured if we were gong to be the best, we’d have to do that. That’s what’s been driving us ever since, and it works.


AC: What pulled you to race walking in particular?


Gerry: I decided that I needed to be the best in the world at something. I’d been through 45 years of my life and I really hadn’t accomplished much by my reckoning. So I picked race walking. I hated running and was a terrible runner. I couldn’t do it. I picked race walking and found that I had some aptitude for it.


I had great mentors and a wonderful coach, Joanne Fox. I was 45 and she was 25, she was just amazing. She got me to the point where I could work myself.


There’s one fella that was such an amazing mentor to me but will probably never read this because he is a baseball guy, Bob Campbell. He could get kids to do things that you would not believe unless you saw them. He just had a way to allow kids to motivate themselves to perform that was uncanny. He opened my eyes to that.


Roger Burrows from Ottawa, he’s been a premier race walking coach. He was the person for technical and strategic knowledge, he was definitely my guy. Al Johnson in BC who was my on the ground, day to day in this process.


I was definitely a guinea pig, tested things on myself. Some things worked, some didn’t. Some things were really stupid and I was glad I didn’t hoist them onto my athletes. Other things worked really well and have become part of our program.


We’ve been very fortunate because there wasn’t much in the way of walking competition in Canada; we had to look at other places in the world. In doing that it gave us access to some of the best people and the top athletes in the world. They got used to working with the best. Once you work with the best, it’s much easier to be one of them rather than seeing them at a distance. They show you what’s possible. It’s hard to get that idea until you see someone do it.



AC: What do you find most satisfying about coaching?


Gerry: I’ve always been very interested in performance. What makes people do well. It’s something that fascinates me. I started out with team sports. In team sports what captivated me was the magic that happens when a group of fair to middling athletes is put together and they make an amazing, unbeatable team. That magic when people put themselves in a position to be great. That’s the fascination for me. Nothing else really mattered to me, I just wanted to see that happen.


So these guys (speaking about his race walking group) have been really good about being good performers. With an individual sport it’s a little bit different. You don’t have that team aspect, but we’ve been able to build some of it into our group. We have a bit of an international team. We’ve always been open to anybody.


What drives me is the performance question. What’s possible and how good could we actually get? And we’re not even close yet. I can see off into the distance…


Other things I like about coaching. Running around the world and playing games is not that hard to take. Considering all the other things I could be doing, it’s quite a bit of fun.



AC: Do you have any specific advice for new coaches?


Gerry: Find some good mentors. You never know where they are going to come from. You can’t be assigned a mentor, you find the mentor. A mentor comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The thing is, you know them when you’ve found them. They may not even know that they are your mentor. Pay attention to them; watch what they do. That’s probably one of the major things.


The other thing is to not be afraid of educating yourself. You cannot learn enough, so keep at it. Your knowledge doesn’t need to come from an athletics based source. Some of my best coaching information has come from other walks of life where performance is an important part of the process. I’ve taken as much from business performance as athletic performance.


AC: Any specific books about performance that you like in particular?


Gerry: It’s not about the individual book, but what you see in it. It can come from just about anywhere.


I would recommend the work of Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman summarizes his work in Think Fast and Slow. He also won the Nobel Prize for Economics by proving that the concept of rational market cannot exist. What their working on is the brain and thinking, but that drives everything else that we do. It’s probably the biggest barrier for performance. You mine that area and you can achieve amazing results.


AC: Are there any lessons you wish you’d have learned earlier in your career?


Gerry: Patience. Where I leaned most of that was working eight years with Special Olympics. That’s where I really learned how to be patient. Working with those athletes, you can’t rush that process. You have to let it take it’s time and be there when the time is right to the performance.


AC: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of coaching?


Gerry: The most difficult parts that I find with coaching is working with athletes whose time has come. That is really hard. That is probably the hardest thing I have to do. The sit down and discussion with the athlete. ”I think you’ve reached your peak and your life’s not going in the direction that is going to give you any additional performance gains. You can hang around if you want, but it’s kind of over. The dream is done and it’s time to move on.”That’s the hardest part.


You develop a relationship with the athlete and become pretty close. I’ve only had to have that conversation a couple times, but it doesn’t get any easier.


AC: Do you have a specific coaching highlight that sticks in your mind?


Gerry: That’s interesting because what you thought was a highlight six months ago is now just  normal. Because there’s been another highlight that usurped it. We’re still on that ride where we are continuing to do better and better. The highlights keep getting better.


I guess I know that I’d be finished the day when I look back and say ”Yeah, that was the peak.” The I can sit back, enjoy my highlights and pet my cat.


Above, not Gerry Dragomir

 AC: What does receiving this award and being acknowledged by your peers mean to you?


Gerry: Itmeans a lot of work in the future trying to live up to this. It raises the bar for me. I am not exactly sure but I think I may be the only recipient who has not had an athlete win an Olympic or World Championships medal. Eventually, I’ve got to that because they said I’m capable.




It puts me into a group of people I didn’t think I belonged with. It might take awhile to get comfortable with that. It does open a lot of doors. There are people now that will listen to us who wouldn’t pay attention before. I think that’s going to be a good thing for performance overall. I do think we have some things to offer. We’ve learned some things doing the way we do them that others may not have put together like we are. It maybe gives us a chance to spread this around a bit, and I wouldn’t mind doing that.


RYU supports Jerome Track Classic

close finish for 2nd and 3rd in 800m Invitational

800m in 2014 at Jerome Classic

RYU Laces Up to Sponsor Harry Jerome International Track Classic

November 6, 2014 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Respect Your Universe, Inc. (OTCQB:RYUN) TSX Venture (RYU.V) (“RYU”).

The Achilles International Track and Field Society is pleased to announce today that global performance fitness and training brand Respect Your Universe has been confirmed as a sponsor for The Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome International Track Classic. RYU will also sponsor the Jerome Indoor Games and The Province Gran Forza.

“We are thrilled to have the RYU brand join our amazing team in promoting physical activity through the sport of track and field to the youth of Canada” said Peter Diemer, Co-Chair of Marketing & Sponsorship for the Achilles International Track and Field Society.

The Harry Jerome International Track Classic is held annually in honour of Harry Jerome, BC’s original multi-discipline athlete whose talent and tenacity on and off the track inspired a generation of Canadians to “never give up” when pursuing their own endeavors. His legacy of athletic excellence and commitment to youth and sport remain pillars of motivation and inspiration today.

Alexander Ludwig, actor Hunger Games

Alexander Ludwig, actor Hunger Games

“RYU is proud and honored to support such a wonderful organization and event”, stated Marcello Leone, President and CEO. “The athletes and their families, and all the volunteers and organizers, are great examples of dedication to training and fitness. Not just for fame or money, but as an overall commitment to a healthy and happy lifestyle”.

The Jerome Indoor Games will be held February 7, 2015, followed by The Province Gran Forza on April 11, 2015 at the Richmond Olympic Oval and will culminate with The Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome International Track Classic on June 8, 2015 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC.
About RYU
Respect Your Universe Inc. is a global training and fitness apparel brand with origins in the movements and philosophy of martial artistry. Created specifically for the unique demands of the multi-discipline athlete, we exist to facilitate the best in human performance by delivering uncompromising style, comfort, durability and function for our athletes.

For more information go to: www.ryu.com

About Achilles International Track and Field Society

Developing track and field has been the goal of the Achilles International Track and Field Society since a group of international athletes, coaches and athletics enthusiasts formed the organization back in 1963. Since then world and Olympic champions, world record holders, Canadian stars and young hopefuls have thrilled spectators, achieved personal bests thanks to the vision of the Society and continued in their quest to become – “Faster, Higher and Stronger”.

For more information visit: www.harryjerome.com

Marek Makes Mark in Sport

Howard Tsumura, The Province

November 3, 2014. 5:45 pm

Inspiring his athletes for over a quarter century has been a trademark for UBC track and cross-country coach Marek Jedrzejek. (Richard Lam, UBC athletics)
Inspiring his athletes for over a quarter century has been a trademark for UBC track and cross-country coach Marek Jedrzejek. (Richard Lam, UBC athletics)
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VANCOUVER — In cross-country running, the course may be charted, but the journey to the finish line is always filled with the unexpected.

Overnight rain can turn sharp corners into extreme hazards. Morning frost can temper the desire to be a front-runner. Tree branches fall. Runners become entangled. Shoes get lost.

But the race, like life, always goes on.

That is a metaphor few can appreciate more than Marek Jedrzejek, a teddy-bear of a man, who for the past quarter-century-plus has coached within the UBC Thunderbirds cross-country, and track and field programs, including the past 13 as the head coach.

On Saturday, Jedrzejek will lead the UBC cross-country team at its conference championship meet in Cinton, Iowa, one which the school’s women’s team has won the past two years, each serving as a launching pad to eventual team titles at the NAIA national championships.

Those kinds of races, the ones run in the unpredictable elements of a November day, are not unlike his own life’s journey.

In the fall of 1982, while serving as an apprentice coach for the Polish national team at the European track and field championships in Greece, Jedrzejek made the decision to leave the team and defect to Canada.

“In Poland, in that system, there was no hope,” he explained of the martial law which has been imposed by the country’s communist regime. “I told my wife and kids that I was not coming back. I told them I was going, and that we would see what happened down the road.”

After spending eight months in a refugee camp in Athens, he arrived at the Vancouver International Airport on a spring day in 1983, barely able to speak a word of english, but determined to find a life better for his family, with whom he was eventually reunited with over two years later.

“I remember when I got off the plane, just standing there alone in the airport,” said Jedrzejek. “I asked myself ‘What is this country going to bring me?’ Looking back, it has been a journey.”

The professional part of which is now headed for the finish line.

This summer, upon completion of the track and field season, the 65-year-old who has guided UBC athletes to 33 national titles, including Canadian record holders Jeff Schiebler (5,000, 10,000 metres) and Liz Gleadle (javelin), and who himself was a part of the Canadian coaching staff at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, will begin a new chapter in his life.

“It is time to put the spikes on the shelf,” Jedrzejek explained last week of leaving behind a lifelong career to spend more time with his two grandchildren, Kate and Cole, and to spend more time attempting to become the world’s greatest lingcod fisherman.

But the tackle box is going to stay closed for a while yet.

Under Jedrzejek’s watch this season, the UBC women’s cross-country team —  led by its stable of stars Maria Bernard, Amelie de Fenoyl, Jackie Regan and Natalia Hawthorn — has owned the NAIA’s No. 1 ranking since Sept. 24, a string of six straight polls.

And this season, like all the one previous, he has impacted the lives of his student-athletes with a manner described as both caring and inspirational.

One such athlete, UBC middle-distance standout Lori Durward, has never lost touch with her old coach after being coached by him for the greater part of a decade through her high school years and later with the Thunderbirds.

“He is a special guy and I get teary-eyed thinking about him because he is like my second dad,” says Durward, these days a Vancouver-area dentist who counts her old coach as a patient. “As a kid he taught me about setting goals. I had some offers to go run in the states after high school but he was a huge part of the reason I stayed home.”

Jedrzejek’s first home in B.C. was Penticton, where he spent eight months working in a lumber yard. Itching to get back to coaching, he eventually moved to the Vancouver area, first enrolling full-time in school to learn english, and later beginning his coaching career as a volunteer assistant at Simon Fraser.

He would later work with club programs before eventually becoming a high-performance coach for Athletics Canada, a job which posted him at UBC.

And to take put a bow on it all, in 2013, three decades after he left Poland, Jedrzejek not only returned to his native land for the World Cross Country championships as the head coach of the Canadian national team, but took the team to Walcz, the city of his youth, for training sessions.

“I dreamt about doing all of this kind of stuff a long, long time ago,” he said. “But at the time, I was so far away from all of it.”

Yet cross-country courses are all loops, and for Marek Jedrzejek, it’s symbolic of a life that has come full circle.

Cam Levins gains momentum

Cam Levins ()


Spikes Magazine 03 NOV 2014

After joining the same training group as Mo Farah last year, Cam Levins went on to win his first major medal with bronze in the 10,000m at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Now the Canadian wants more.

In the small community of Black Creek on Vancouver Island where Cam Levins grew up, his friends would excitedly wheel out their bikes from the garage whenever school was out. But Levins would always prefer to follow on foot.

“I thought: ‘I don’t need a bike, I’ll just run with the guys,’” he explains. “I loved doing it. It was my method of transportation.”

He training for track in seventh grade, and ran to a decent level through high school, harbouring aspirations to compete on the US collegiate level scene. Yet Levins wasn’t quite the finished article.

“I wouldn’t say I was amazing by any means, so it would not have been easy to pick up my performances,” says Levins, now 25. “I put myself on a website called beRecruited.com so the colleges could view my profile.”

It worked: Southern Utah University were keen and Levins made the move to Logan, a town nearly 1,000 miles from home, in the middle of the desert and 4,500ft above sea level. It was just the first step on a long journey.

At SUU, his coach Erick Houle got him on a schedule that involved running up to three times a day and as many as 170 miles a week.

Gruelling, but it paid off. In his final year at Southern Utah he secured the NCAA 5,000m and 10,000m double and made the Olympic team for Canada.

In London he finished 11th in the 10,000m and 14th in the 5,000m – the two finals memorably won by Mo Farah amid a raucous atmosphere.

Levins back in the chasing bikes and colouring years

“Going to the Olympic Games was the culmination of everything I had dreamed of to that point,” he says.

“I was in London racing Mo in what was probably the loudest crowd noise of a race ever. I probably won’t experience anything like that again, at least in terms of the crowd.”

Little did Levins know then that just eight months later he would be training with Farah as part the Nike Oregon Project.

Levins arranged to meet with Alberto Salazar – the head coach of the Nike Oregon Project – after hearing he was keen to recruit the Canadian. Levins himself was eager to move to Oregon, an area where his wife to be Elizabeth was looking to start pharmacy school.

The meeting went well and in April last year he was formally recruited to work under Salazar.

“I don’t think I realised the honour and privilege of joining until afterwards,” he admits. “Alberto is very serious about what he does. He is very meticulous about everything we do. He is always very supportive and I appreciate everything he does.”

Though his fellow athletes welcomed him warmly, when it came to training things were much less sympathetic. He remembers the first time he went on an “easy run” with Farah and Galen Rupp (who took 10,000m silver in London 2012).

“The last couple of miles were run in 5:15 or 5:20 and that was an easy run,” Levins recalls.  “I would never have thought to have even approach that pace for my easy runs.”

Alberto Salazar ()


Alberto Salazar won a hat-trick of New York City Marathon titles in his pomp

Salazar also insisted the Canadian built up his strength, and his introduction to the weights room was no more sensitive.

“That first day a bunch of journalists were following Mo and Galen around for the IAAF’s Day in the Life of project,” he says.

“They were watching us lift and I was pulled out as a prime example of how to lift. Yet there I was falling all over the place, my balance was off… I’m terrible at weights.”

Nutritionally, Levins also underwent a transformation. Out went the cookies, sweets and pizza; in came the granola and skimmed milk. He has also introduced daytime naps to prepare for the second session of the day.

“It is about being a professional athlete,” he says. “Before I joined I was a student athlete. Now I’m serious about everything I do.

“Every single action I do is to make me a better runner. I’ve done a lot of growing since I’ve been here. I thought before I was working hard, but there was far more I was able to do and I’m only continuing to learn.”

Cam Levins ()


Training with Farah and Rupp: “I see what they do and try to be as good as them at everything I can.”

That approach saw him achieve his best championship result to date. His bronze in the 10,000m at the Commonwealth games was so nearly gold after Ugandan Moses Kipsiro ran him down in the final 50m of a thrilling finale in Glasgow.

Despite the medal, he was not totally satisfied with 2014. He failed to lower his PB in the 5000m or 10,000m but he is looking forward to 2015 were he will be targeting medals at the Pan American Games in Toronto and the World Championships in Beijing.

There are fewer better training partners than Farah and Rupp for motivation, and Levins is desperate to reach those levels of excellence.

“They are good at every aspect of training and it is this that makes them such great athletes,” he says.

“I see what they do and try to be as good as them at everything I can. As Alberto says: ‘If you can do everything that they can do, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to run as well as them.’”

The stage is set for Levins to prove him right.

Postmedia support physical activity and sport with corporate responsibility

Patricia Wu

Patricia Wu

Patricia Wu, the Manager of Local Marketing, Western Canada for Postmedia confirmed support for the Achilles 2015 track and field season this week.

She said “On behalf of The Vancouver Sun and Province, we would be pleased to confirm our continued donation to the Achilles Track and Field Society for next year.

The Vancouver Sun and Province have supported track and field for over 30 years. The financial support over these years mounts to over 2 million dollars in total.  This makes Postmedia the largest corporate supporter of this Olympic Sport in all of Canada. This is possible by the community support of the largest road race in Canada, The Vancouver Sun Run with close to 50,000 runners and walkers.  Achilles initiated this 10k event in 1984 with sponsorship by the Vancouver Sun, which now operates this celebration to fitness.

Joining Postmedia in announcing their support were the Schein Foundation and Farabloc Corporation.  These organizations continue their financial contribution to providing opportunities for physical activities for our youth.


The Achilles Track and Field Society will produce three major events in 2015.

1.     The Vancouver Sun Jerome Indoor Games on February 7th at the Richmond Olympic Oval.

2.     The Province Gran Forza V on April 11th at the Richmond Olympic Oval

3.     The Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome International Track Classic on June 8th at Swangard Stadium.

Olympic medalists Steve Podborski of TELUS present trophy

Olympic medalists Steve Podborski of TELUS present trophy in 2014

These events provide opportunities to elementary age, high school, university and international athletes to compete in track and field events.

This coming year will be of particular importance as Canada is hosting the Pan American Games in Toronto in July.  The season will culminate in August with the World Championships in Beijing in August.

Power couple, Eatons go on honeymoon finally!

Ashton and Brianne Play the Newlywed Game

Published by

ArmoryTrack.com   on Yesterday, 06:23 PM


Though track and field’s most popular couple took their trip down the aisle over a year ago, the two weren’t able to find time for a honeymoon until this past October. Brianne Theisen-Eaton, a world indoor and outdoor championships silver medalist in the pentathlon and heptathlon, respectively, left the honeymoon planning to Ashton Eaton, who currently holds the decathlon world record and is a 2012 Olympic games gold medalist. They traveled to Dubai and Seychelles, two of the few remaining cities that their competitive travels haven’t already taken them to, and enjoyed the beaches, unique foods and a dessert safari over some Arabic dunes.

I caught up with the couple shortly after their trip, and decided it would be fun to play a round of the Newlywed Game with them. Check out how the two, who share the same occupation, coach and address, handle married life.

First Question. Who asked who out first?
Brianne: Our first official date was on Valentine’s Day. He asked me, but before that we were just hanging out as friends in the same friend group. I guess I don’t give him as much credit for it, as if we didn’t know each other at all, but technically he asked me out first.

Ashton: I definitely asked her out first. Our first date was during Valentines Day and I took her out to Olive Garden.

Were you surprised or expecting it?
Brianne: Because it was Valentine’s Day, I was expecting it. We were clearly heading toward a relationship so I was waiting for it.

Ashton: I don’t think surprised is the right word. I think she was more relieved. We were hanging out with the same group of friends and there was clearly an interest there, so after it was all said and done she asked me what took you so long?

Who spends more time in front of the mirror?
Brianne: Me for sure. Ashton is in and out and the longest he’ll be in there for is if he’s cutting his hair, which is annoying because sometimes he’ll leave the hair sitting on the floor.

Ashton: Brianne. One hundred percent Brianne. Every time we walk past a mirror I’ll glance over and catch her checking herself out.

Who is the messy one?
Brianne: When it comes to stuff lying around that would be me, but I like the kitchen to be clean and the counters to be wiped. He’s not dirty, but he’ll forget to clean those things. Also, when there’s dust on things it drives me crazy. He’ll say we don’t need to dust when I feel there’s a ton of dust on something.

Ashton: Brianne for sure. It’s definitely Brianne. In high school I used to be really messy and had clothes and things all over the place with no organization. That led to having a really bad habit of losing important things. But something happened in college where I developed this technique of just getting rid of everything that’s extra, so I only had what was essential and nothing could distract from what was important. That led to me becoming super clean and minimal.

You went to the same university, do the same event and obviously spend a lot of time together, so I assume you two have a lot of similarities, but what is your biggest difference?
Brianne: Our personalities are completely different. I’m more likely to get super impatient or get mad and blow up, but he’s more reserved. He doesn’t get really upset, and when he does he just gets quiet and won’t really say anything. So if he’s annoyed or frustrated he’ll just stop talking where as I’m complaining and voicing my opinion.

Ashton: The biggest difference in my opinion is Brianne is more impatient than I am. She is smarter than me, but she wears her emotions on her sleeve where I’m more likely to keep mine in. She also has a greater ability to plan ahead. I’m a little more instinctual. I do think things through, but in the end it all comes around to it just seems like a good idea and I can’t really tell you why, but she can always tell you why.

Who is more outgoing?
Brianne: He’s more outgoing and I’m more reserved.

Ashton: I would say Brianne is more outgoing. Growing up she’s been a lot more social and had a lot of friends, where as I had a smaller group of friends. Even to this day she’s willing to try more stuff, but actually if there’s a food she doesn’t think she’ll like she won’t try it. She won’t go skydiving and won’t do anything that she fears… you know what? I think I’m more outgoing. The thing is she’s more outgoing in social settings, but I’m more outgoing privately when it comes to things I want to do like skydiving or whatever. She’s a little more timid when she’s by herself.

What event will your children do?
Brianne: We’re both more speed and power athletes, so I can’t see them being distance runners. If not multi-event athletes then sprinters. I think the 400 is the event, but it’s hard to say.

Ashton: You know what? I bet you he or she would be the world record holder in the triple jump. I say that because I have a lot of speed and explosiveness and Brianne has a lot of robustness. Her joints handle impact very well, where as mine are a little more weak. So if there’s a combination of the explosiveness with the solidness then I see the triple jump being where they could excel because they could train more frequently on a higher level.

What track event best exemplifies your relationship; the 400 hurdles, long jump or 5K?
Brianne: 400 hurdles because they’re complicated. Our relationship isn’t complicated, but our lifestyles are. Sometimes in our lives things are going really smoothly, but there’s always hurdles that come up in life.

Ashton: 400 hurdles, no question. I say that because it’s an endurance event and in every relationship there’s always hurdles. Sometimes you get over them smoothly and your steps are on and sometimes your steps are off and it’s ugly, but in the end you still make it over and finish the race.

Who’s the better driver?
Brianne: We’re both going to say ourselves, but I can be impatient and sometimes get road rage really bad. So I’m probably a worse drive in that sense, but Ashton is awful with directions and never knows where to go. Also, if he’s talking to me while he’s driving, he’ll just blow by a turn that we were supposed to make. He can’t do two things at one time.

Ashton: I’m a much better driver than Brianne. She has the worst road rage imaginable and it wasn’t until this year that I found out why. I’ve visited her hometown a bunch of times and where she’s from is very small and very remote. Last summer we went camping with her parents there and we had to drive two and half hours to the campsite. During that time we probably saw five cars. So I complained to Brianne about her road rage for so long, but then I finally understood. If there’s a car in front of her she just gets pissed off and it’s because she grew up for 20 years never having to deal with it.

Do you two have any pet names for one another?
Brianne: I call him Ash and he calls me Bri.

Ashton: Yeah I call her Britree, Treeanne and any name that has Bri in the beginning and some made up ending.

What was the worst gift you’ve ever gotten from one another?
Brianne: He hasn’t given a bad gift. We don’t usually give things as gifts, more experiences, so we’ll do something like go out for a weekend of wine tasting or he’ll take me to the spa. I like that kind of stuff.

Ashton: I can’t give you an answer because I don’t know. I have no idea. Maybe it was a candle or something. When we were in college we would spend money on each other because we didn’t know any better, and after a while we got to the point where there wasn’t much left that we could give each other in that form. So when we started spending more time together. We realized we like doing fun and unique things together and decided that was a good gift.

Who’s the money saver and who’s the money spender?
Brianne: I would say we’re pretty equal. I like clothes and shoes and bags and he likes technology items like Xbox. Neither of us spends more than the other one and we’re both on the same page with saving and spending.

Ashton: Brianne has a very financial mind. She’s definitely more of the saver. The things that I get tend to be more expensive. I don’t necessarily like spending money, I like saving it more, but I do get things like Xbox games without a second thought. I have to try out anything technology related that peaks my interest.

How do you grab each other’s attention?
Brianne: I’ll start with, hey Ash? And his mom does it, too. He says that is the most annoying thing he can ever hear because he knows it’s going to follow up with something that he has to do. His mom did it to him all throughout growing up and now I do it. So I’m trying to stop saying that.

Ashton: To get her attention I’ll just say her name, but I’ll do it like a joke, like I’m completely helpless.

What is the most popular food dish at the Eaton household?
Brianne: Our most popular snack is greek yogurt. Our go to meal would be quinoa or couscous or chicken and vegetables because that’s easy and quick to make. We drink a lot of water and gatorade at practice, but drink a lot of fizzy water at home.

Ashton: Something with pasta or noodles is always my go to. Or it could be steak. We don’t cook it, but we always get Thai food and really like Thai noodles.

Read more: ArmoryTrack.com – News – Ashton and Brianne Play the Newlywed Game http://www.armorytrack.com/gprofile.php?mgroup_id=45586&do=news&news_id=294283#ixzz3HUoVu6gi

Jeff Huntoon hired to position of Combined Events and Jumps Coach for Athletics Canada

Jeff Huntoon and Derek Drouin  photo by Zach Hetrick

Jeff Huntoon and Derek Drouin photo by Zach Hetrick


Jeff Huntoon hired to position of Combined Events and Jumps Coach


Athletics Canada announced today the hiring of Jeff Huntoon to the position of Combined Events and Jumps Coach. Huntoon will work out of Athletics Canada’s Eastern High Performance Hub in Toronto, Ont.


Jeff Huntoon on joining Athletics Canada, “It’s a great opportunity at a very good time in my career to join Athletics Canada. Over the past few years it’s been a distinct privilege to be a part of some of Canada’s, arguably, greatest track and field moments. I look forward to assisting in the continued development of this momentum.”


Huntoon is the personal coach of Canadian high jumper Derek Drouin. On the international stage the Huntoon/Drouin duo combined for Olympic, World Championship and Commonwealth Games’ medals. He has also coached 5 Olympians in four different events, 5 national champions from three different countries and athletes to 6 national records.


“This is a great hire for Athletics Canada,” said Peter Eriksson, Athletics Canada Head Coach. “Jeff comes in with an impressive track record of international success in sprints and jumps. He will be an important asset to the East Hub and a great addition to the Canadian system as a whole.”


The Kenosha, Wisconsin native counts 25 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level. Most recently he was associate Head Coach of Track and Field and Cross Country at Indiana University (2007 to 2014). With the Hoosiers he coached 5 NCAA national Champions, mentored 24 NCAA All-Americans performances and helped lead the Hoosiers to 12 individual and 2 team Big Ten NCAA Championships.




For more information:
Mathieu Gentès

Director, Public Relations & Corporate Services
Athletics Canada
613 260 5580 ext. 3303


Jeff Huntoon est embauché au poste d’entraîneur des épreuves combinées et des sauts


Athlétisme Canada a annoncé, aujourd’hui, l’embauche de Jeff Huntoon au poste d’entraîneur des épreuves combinées et des sauts. Huntoon travaillera au Centre de haute performance de l’Est d’Athlétisme Canada à Toronto, en Ontario.


Jeff Huntoon à propos de se joindre à Athlétisme Canada: «C’est une excellente occasion à un très bon moment dans ma carrière de me joindre à Athlétisme Canada. Au cours des dernières années, cela a été un immense privilège de faire partie de certains, sans discussion, des plus grands moments de l’athlétisme du Canada. J’ai hâte d’aider au développement constant de ce momentum.»


Huntoon est l’entraîneur personnel du sauteur en hauteur canadien Derek Drouin. Sur la scène internationale, le duo Huntoon/Drouin s’est uni pour remporter des médailles aux Jeux olympiques, aux championnats du monde et aux Jeux du Commonwealth. Il a aussi entraîné cinq olympiens dans quatre différentes épreuves, cinq champions nationaux de trois différents pays et des athlètes pour six records nationaux.


«C’est une excellente embauche pour Athlétisme Canada, a dit Peter Eriksson, l’entraîneur-chef d’Athlétisme Canada. Jeff nous arrive avec un impressionnant dossier de succès internationaux dans les sprints et les sauts. Il sera un atout important au Centre de l’Est et un excellent ajout au système canadien dans son ensemble.»


L’homme originaire de Kenosha, au Wisconsin, compte 25 ans d’expérience comme entraîneur au niveau de la division I de la NCAA. Plus récemment il a été entraîneur-chef associé d’athlétisme et de cross-country à l’Université d’Indiana (2007 à 2014). Avec les Hoosiers il a entrainé cinq champions nationaux de la NCAA,  a agit comme mentor pour 24 étoiles de la NCAA et il a aidé à conduire l’équipe à 12 championnats individuel et deux d’équipe du Big Ten de la NCAA.




Pour obtenir plus d’information:
Mathieu Gentès

Directeur, relations publiques et services corporatifs
Athlétisme Canada
613 260 5580 poste 3303


Athletics Canada announces new identity, launches new logo

Today Athletics Canada, the national governing body for track and field, cross country, road running and road racing, is extremely excited to launch its new logo as well as announce plans around the organization’s new identity.

Athletics Canada’s new bilingual logo comprises a full maple leaf surrounded by an oval track / running loop.

Rob Guy

Rob Guy

“In recent years the organization has grown and has set a new strategic direction of increasing participation and improving international performances in a positive sport atmosphere. Athletics Canada is an organization that offers opportunities for all people of all abilities; we are Athletics in Canada,” said Rob Guy, Chief Executive Officer. “We felt it was time for a new brand and a new logo to go with this new identity.”

The process to develop a new identity started almost a year ago and included submissions from the general athletics community.

Today’s launch is the first step in the organization’s identity makeover. In the coming weeks Athletics Canada will release iconic sport representations which, along with the main logo, will make up the overall Athletics Canada brand. January 2015 will see the final piece of the puzzle in the overhaul with the inauguration of a new website.

The full maple leaf and track / running loop logo identifies Athletics Canada in its simplest form. The complete identity is found in the visuals that form the overall brand. Together they articulate a visual system that best represents Athletics Canada, enhancing its value and continually building its profile.

The new brand includes a complete colour palette as well as usage and typography guidelines. The brand, along with the soon to be released website will serve as the cornerstone in Athletics Canada’s communication and marketing strategy for years to come.


Athlétisme Canada annonce une nouvelle identité, lance un nouveau logo

Aujourd’hui, Athlétisme Canada, l’organisme national de régie pour l’athlétisme, le cross-country et la course sur route, est extrêmement excité de lancer son nouveau logo ainsi que d’annoncer les plans à propos de la nouvelle identité de l’organisation.

Le nouveau logo bilingue d’Athlétisme Canada se compose d’une feuille d’érable complète entourée d’une piste ovale / boucle de course.

«Dans les récentes années l’organisation a grandi et a établi une nouvelle direction stratégique pour augmenter la participation et améliorer les performances internationales dans une atmosphère sportive positive. Athlétisme Canada est une organisation qui offre des occasions pour tous les gens de toutes les capacités; nous sommes l’athlétisme au Canada, a dit Rob Guy, chef de la direction. Nous croyons que c’est le moment pour une nouvelle marque et un nouveau logo pour aller avec cette nouvelle identité.»

Le processus pour établir une nouvelle identité a débuté il y a presque un an et a inclus des soumissions par la collectivité générale de l’athlétisme.

Le lancement d’aujourd’hui est la première étape dans la transformation de l’identité de l’organisation. Dans les prochaines semaines Athlétisme Canada annoncera des représentations sportives emblématiques qui, avec le logo principal, composeront la marque globale d’Athlétisme Canada. Janvier 2015 verra le dernier morceau du casse-tête dans le remaniement avec l’inauguration d’un nouveau site Internet.

Le logo de la feuille d’étable complète et la piste / boucle de course identifie Athlétisme Canada dans sa forme la plus simple. L’identité complète se trouve dans les images qui forment la marque globale. Ensembles elles articulent un système visuel qui représente le mieux Athlétisme Canada, améliorant sa valeur et bâtissant constamment son image.

La nouvelle marque inclut une palette complète de couleurs ainsi que des directives d’utilisation et de typographie. La marque, avec le nouveau site Internet qui sera bientôt lancé, serviront de pilier dans la stratégie de communication et de marketing d’Athlétisme Canada pour les années à venir.