- The Saskatchewan Huskies (men's) and Alberta Pandas (women's) enter the two-day CW Championship meet – hosted by the University of Regina – looking to defend their 2015-16 conference titles
- Several host Cougars are hoping to impress, as long jumper Joy Becker and 60m sprinter Tevaughn Campbell are among the favourites in their respective events
- Action runs Friday, February 24 and Saturday, February 25 and can be seen live on Canada West TV
EDMONTON – Canada West's top track and field athletes are headed to the Queen City this weekend, as the 2016-17 CW Track and Field Championships take over the Regina Fieldhouse on Friday and Saturday.
Looking to defend their conference titles from a year ago are the Saskatchewan Huskies (men's), and the Alberta Pandas (women's).
Both conference banners marked returns to the top of the Canada West podium for each school, as the Huskies snapped a short two-year span without men's conference gold, while Alberta's victory was a long time coming. The Pandas victory in Saskatoon last February was their first conference crown since 1982-83.
For Saskatchewan, only one returning CW individual gold medalist returns this season looking to help lead the Sled Dogs to a title defence, as distance runner Erik Wilding (3000m) hopes for both an individual and team repeat.
Lenny Williams is the only other Saskatchewan men's gold medalists still in the fold, after helping the Huskies 4x400m relay team to victory last season.
By comparison, Alberta will have more gold in their arsenal this weekend, as Ashley Whiteman (300m), Paige Ridout (pole vault), and Jennifer Weber (4kg shot put) all return looking to repeat in their individual events.
Along with their three individual medalists, the Pandas also return half of both their 4x200m (Rachel Rosin, Cassandra Grenke), and 4x400m (Rosin, Whiteman) gold medal relay teams from last season.
When it comes to host talent, Joy Becker leads the way for the Regina Cougars women's team. The long jumper has already broken the Regina school record twice this season, with her top mark (6.29m) coming two weeks ago at the Golden Bear Challenge in Edmonton.
In addition to Becker, another athlete to keep an eye on for the Cougars is former Rams football star and current Saskatchewan Roughrider Tevaughn Campbell. The 23-year-old is the reigning men's 60m dash champion and is looking to cap off his Canada West career with a third consecutive 60m gold.
Rounding out the field for this weekend's championships are the Calgary Dinos (3rd men's, 2nd women's at 2015-16 CW), Lethbridge Pronghorns (6thmen's, 6th women's), Manitoba Bisons (4th men's, 5th women's), Trinity Western Spartans (4th men's, 4th women's), and Victoria Vikes (8th men's, 8th women's).
For a complete look at the conference's track and field preview, including previews for all eight competing teams, click here.
The entire 2016-17 CW Track and Field Championships can be seen live on Canada West TV by purchasing a day pass for $5 CAD.