NEW GLASGOW – In only her second year of track and field competition at the university level, Meryl MacDougall is making a name for herself, medalling for the first time at the AUS championships this season in Moncton.
MacDougall, a member of the Dalhousie Tigers track and field team, finished second in the 60m event with a time of 7.91, just behind Alexa-Maude Mallais of UdeM who won with a time of 7.87. Last season after tweaking a muscle just prior to the AUS championship, MacDougall finished in fifth in the 60m event.
She said learning how to listen to her body when it’s injured has been crucial to her improvement and successes this season.
“This season I learned to really listen to my body more and watch for things when I was hurt,” she said. “Recovery was so much faster than pushing through the pain like I did last year. I knew when to back off from pushing myself too hard if I knew my body wasn’t in a position to take on too much.”
Although she doesn’t get to attend the CIS championship this weekend in Edmonton, Alberta (only the event winner attends), she said she’s happy with her first AUS podium finish at this event.
“It was pretty awesome that I almost had a completely injury free year and to come out and place second after last year was unreal,” said MacDougall. “The girl that won deserved to win, no doubt, so it was good competition and I was happy with where I finished.”
Leading up to the event she said she’s been achieving personal bests at each event throughout the season. MacDougall said that with a new coach in charge of the team this year that their training has changed, something she feels has been positive.
“The new training program has really allowed us to be at our full potential throughout the season,” she said. “We definitely changed up what we do completely and we went from doing more long distance stuff to more short and faster focused workouts.”
The AUS track and field season is now over, but MacDougall said the team will continue to train for the summer after taking a break away from the track following the AUS championship.
Other Pictou County participants at the AUS championship included Devon Martell (St. FX) and Angus MacDonald (SMU).
Martell finished sixth in the 60m hurdles, sixth in high jump, seventh in long jump, fifth in triple jump and fourth in the indoor pentathlon. MacDonald did not get a finish position in either of the 1500 or 3000m events.
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris