Friday, 09 September 2011 08:42

Wiebe running towards success

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By Brad Brown — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kelly Wiebe is used to going a long way very quickly.

So maybe it’s no surprise to hear the Swift Current distance runner sound so sincere when he says he’s not dwelling on the disappointment he experienced last month at the 2011 World University Games in China.

Wiebe, a fifth-year member of the University of Regina Cougars cross-country and track and field teams, was scheduled to line up for Canada in the 5,000-metre run at worlds when he felt a “tweak” in his leg a week before the race.

“I didn’t think it was anything serious so I kept training,” Wiebe said last week from a U of R training camp in Moose Jaw. “Then I was working out three days before my race. I was wearing spikes on the track, going hard, and tore my calf muscle. There was no possible way I could run .... I couldn’t even walk. It was a huge bummer. I was really disappointed at the time.

“But,” he added with half a laugh, “that’s life.”

Life, likewise, sometimes shuts a door only to open another window. Or four.

In Wiebe’s case, he still has world track and field and cross-country championships to strive for in 2013.

In the nearer-term, he also has the 2011 Canadian Interuniversity Sport cross-country and 2012 CIS track and field seasons to distract him.

Even though he’s established himself as a world-level athlete, the national events are more than mere tune-ups.

On the cross-country circuit, Wiebe has won back-to-back bronze medals at the CIS national championship. He’s also the three-time defending Canada West conference track and field gold medalist in the 3,000-metre run, but has yet to make the podium at nationals.

Hungry? You bet.

The calf injury? Not a problem. There’s a lot of time to recover. Nationals go Nov. 12 in Quebec.

“There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to go for the win in any of my events,” said Wiebe. “Right now, it’s the cross-country season and my main goal is to go to the CIS championships, hopefully take home the gold medal, and then go off to senior national championships in Vancouver.”

Paradoxically, for such individual events, cross-country or track gold would be much more than a solo accomplishment.

“Kelly’s really earned his position as a leader by how hard he’s worked and the effort he’s put in,” explained Cougars head coach Bruce McCannell. “He’s definitely one of those guys that leads by example. He’ll be verbal if he needs to be but most of time he takes care of showing what to do by example.

“We’re a pretty young team this year and it’s usually important to have a guy like that they can look up to and see how they’re supposed to eat, how they’re supposed to run, to train, and to prepare for the next big meet.”

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