The Swift Current Comprehensive High School will be hosting the Ardens & Colts Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. to open the 2010 season for the host squad.
Joining the Colts and Ardens at the meet will be competitors from Gull Lake, Lloydminister Comprehensive, Moose Jaw A.E. Peacock, Moose Jaw Vanier, and Weyburn Comprehensive.
"The squad is looking pretty good. We definitely have some strong provincial medalists coming back from last year and a couple that are moving forward," explained SCCHS Ardens and Colts coach Gord Husband.
Megan Rumple is expected to be a multiple medal threat once again this season after winning gold and silver medals in midget girls high jump and triple jump at SHSAA provincials last year. Rumpel also placed fourth in the 80 metre hurdles and the long jump to finish tied for second in the midget girls aggregate standings at provincials.
Tenille Gering was a bronze medalist in the midget girl's 3,000 metre race and will be a strong hopeful to medal again this year in the junior girl's division.
"Matt Bazin is a grade 11 athlete that is going to have a really strong chance at medaling in the distance events as well," noted Husband.
"We have a good looking team as far as probably having a lot of candidates to move on to provincials. Last year we carried a team of about 26 to provincials. I would think we will be right around that number again," he continued.
This year's team is comprised of 24 female and 27 male athletes, including 10 junior girls and 14 junior boys.
"We have a good crop of juniors this year, which would have been our midget squad last year. They are going to hopefully be the future of our team for the next couple of years because most of them are only in grade 10," said Husband.
He hopes a year of experience helps his squad this season.
"We have a little bit more of a veteran squad, especially our senior boys where there are a fair number of guys there that have been competing for a bit. Then we have that junior core there that involves Tenille Gering, Katie Letwiniuk, Megan Rumpel, Karissa Plewis, Morgan Spiess, and Ashley Piche, who are all kids that have already made it to provincials once. It is kind of nice to have that many kids that are only in grade 10 and have already experienced provincials to get through the idea of a big meet like that."
This weekend's meet is the first of the season for the Ardens and Colts.
"I think that a lot of it is just for our young kids who have never actually competed in a larger meet like this just to get that exposure of when they should start warming up, when do the official throws or official jumps start, how do they marshal in, all that kind of stuff so that they get that exposure to the routine of a regular track meet. In this meet we officiate not very judiciously because we know it is the first meet of the year and a lot of these kids are just gaining experience."
He said the results are not the focus early in the season.
"We are hoping to have some of our senior athletes just get a good solid competition in. We are not looking for personnel bests right out of the gate. We just want them to get into a good competitive frame of mind and go through that process."
The track events open action at 10 a.m. with 1,500 metre races, while the field events get underway at the same time with shot put, long jump, javelin, high jump, discus, and triple jump all busy with action across the six divisions.
The meet will conclude at 4 p.m. with the 4 x 100 metre relays and the 4 x 400 metre relays at 5 p.m.