Roberts Creek’s Michaela Kane put in a strong showing for Simon Fraser University (SFU) at the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championships in Birmingham, Alabama last weekend.
Kane, in her senior season with the SFU track and field team, was one of five members of the SFU team at nationals. The rest of the team included Helen Crofts (West Vancouver), Lindsey Butterworth (North Vancouver), Sarah Sawatzky (Chilliwack) and Chantel Desch (Abbotsford).
Kane, Crofts, Butterworth and Sawatsky all raced in the 800-metre event where they are all ranked in the top 15.
Crofts captured the 800-metre title after running the final race in a time of 2:05.96, while Kane and Butterworth finished fifth and eighth respectively.
On Friday, the trio qualified for Saturday’s championship race in their preliminary races as Crofts won her heat, in a time of 2:10.16, Kane finished fourth in her race with a time of 2:10.18, and Butterworth finished second in her heat with a time of 2:09.70.
Less than an hour after the 800-metre, Crofts, Kane, Sawatzky and Desch ran the 4x400-metre relay and finished eighth with a time of 3:47.14, earning All-American status.
“To come back so soon after the 800-metre and be All-Americans in the 4x400-metre relay was great. Michaela showed great confidence and Sarah was outstanding after narrowly missing out on the 800-metre final. Lindsey was a little under the weather and Chantel showed the tremendous potential she has,” said SFU coach Brit Townsend.
Kane has had an excellent career at SFU, as did her sister Brianna who graduated from the program and has retired from competitive racing.
In the 2010/11 season Michaela was a Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) champion in the 4x400m relay and seventh in the 800m. In the 2011/12 season she was third in the GNAC for the 800m and third in the 4x400m relay. Now this season, she is one of only five team members to qualify for nationals.
“I was really happy with the whole weekend. It was a great experience,” said Kane. “Being that this was a NCAA championship, we knew the depth of teams would be that much higher, so to have three of us make the finals in the 800m and get all-American status, and for me to get a personal best time, was amazing. The result in the 4x400 was also a nice surprise. We were ranked 11th going in and we finished eighth.”
The weekend brought an end to Kane’s indoor career with SFU and she finished it in style.
“To have us compete for the first time in NCAA and for my last indoor meet with SFU, it couldn’t have gone better. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending,” she said.
The team now has three weeks off before starting their outdoor season.
“I have outdoor and then I’ll have my final cross country season in the fall because I red-shirted on that team last year. I’m hoping to have a great outdoor season and hope we can make nationals again.”