Senior Matthew Winkler survived plenty of friendly ribbing from teammates for his Canadian citizenship over the years. His breakthrough run in the 800m at the Tuppeny Twilight meet earned him the opportunity to compete at the Canadian National Championships in late June.
Winkler Represents Captains At Canadian National Championships
Matthew Winkler’s (Palmyra, VA) breakthrough race at Swarthmore’s Tuppeny Twilight (1:50.91) not only set a new School Record and qualified him for the NCAA Division III National Championships, it also qualified him for the National Championships in his home country – Canada.
The senior extended his already long season another month into late June to make his debut at the Canadian Nationals in Calgary. Travel to the meet turned out to be less than smooth (several airport delays and lost luggage) and very windy conditions at the meet forced him to modify his intended tactics. The plan was to make a fast time-trial out of his preliminary heat – an approach that tends to work better than sit-and-kick races for Winkler. With 20-30 mph winds, anyone who was bold enough to take an early lead would likely be swallowed up by the field in the end. As a result, the first section ran cautiously and was won in a pedestrian 1:56. The second section, therefore, felt no pressure to go fast and Winkler chose to stay in the pack, coming through the end of the first lap at around 56-57 seconds.
Knowing his best remaining shot would be to extend the final kick as long as possible, he made his move just before the final turn and took the lead early on the bend. That lead held until the home stretch where the first of his competitors got around him. He held on to 3rd until 50m to go before slipping back to 5th (1:54.87) and 11th place over all.His efforts earned him an opportunity to compete on the Canadian Circuit for the summer and continue to gather national caliber racing experience.