U SPORTS Reflections: Dalhousie Roar in Track and Field

Halifax, N.S.-  The Dalhousie Tigers continued their dominance of the AUS track and field circuit, with both the men’s and women’s teams taking home conference banners. The 2020 titles marked the women’s 31st consecutive banner, while it was the men’s sixth. Not only did the teams maintain their status, each had an athlete claim the top spot on a podium at the U SPORTS national championships in Alberta: Matthew Coolen and Lorena Heubach were both named first team all-Canadians at season’s end. 

Matthew Coolen 

Coolen wins second national medal
Coolen (Dalhousie Tigers Athletics)

Coolen jumped his way to the 2020 national title in the men’s 60m hurdles, bettering his silver medal from 2019. Coolen earned his spot in the U SPORTS championship after claiming the same spot at the AUS championships the month prior.

In addition to his gold in hurdles at the conference finals, the fifth year engineering student led a Dalhousie podium sweep of the 60m dash, a second consecutive top-spot finish in that event. This allowed him to run in the national finals of the event, in which he finished fifth.

Coolen’s third gold medal at the AUS championships came after he ran the first leg for the Tigers in the 4x200m relay. Despite his strong performance in the conference finals, he was left off the track for this one at the national finals, where Dalhousie failed to make it out of their preliminary heat. 

Lorena Heubach 

Gold for Heubach & Coolen at track & field champs
Heubach with her gold medal (Dalhousie Tigers Athletics)

The third-year science major finished atop the national long jump podium after having earned four gold medals at the AUS championships, both on the track and in the field. Her dominance spanned the 60m hurdles, the high jump, the long jump, and was a member of the 4x200m relay team. Her long jump performance was record breaking, as she landed a 5.97m, seven centimetres more than the prior AUS record, also held by a Dalhousie Tiger. As the weekend wrapped and Heubach absorbed her new titles, she was named the AUS female track and field athlete of the year, on top of being named the female MVP of the championships. 

Her performance at the conference championships surprised nobody after she had set a new Dalhousie record in pentathlon at the NB Indoor University Invitational in Saint John. She finished the event with 3831 points, besting the previous school mark of 3693 points. 

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