Mom was in the stands. Her team did well.
And while she didn’t have the results she’d hoped for, Samme Groeneveld couldn’t have asked for a better end to her college track and field career.
Groeneveld, from Armstrong, helped the University of Calgary Dinos women’s track team place ninth overall at the CIS Canadian championships in Windsor, Ont.
Groeneveld, 23, a 2009 graduate of Pleasant Valley Secondary School, placed sixth in the shot put with a best throw of 13.4 metres, and was 12th in the weight throw (similar to hammer throw except the implement has a shorter chain, and for women, the weight changes from four kilograms to 20 pounds so it doesn’t go as far and can be thrown indoors) with two fouls and one registered toss of 13.63m.
“CIS was good, not what I hoped for but I did my best on the day and our team had some amazing performances,” said Groeneveld, cheered on in Windsor by her mom, Mary. “Mom was able to make it out to cheer me and the other Dinos on, so it was a perfect way to end my Dinos career.”
Groenveld’s teammate, Niki Oudenaarden, won the bronze in the shot put with a throw of 14.01m.
To qualify for Windsor, Groenveld, a former member of the Vernon AAA Track and Field Club, had a marvelous showing at her final Canada West championships, held in Winnipeg.
The kinesiology major finished third in the weight throw with a toss of 14.94m, and set a personal best 14.06m to win the shot put. That toss was a personal best by 33 centimetres, and 1.11 meters further than anyone else in the field threw.
“My specific thought (on the PB throw) was that it was very rotational (not the greatest technique), and then I watched it land, not thinking much of it but the distance looked really good,” said Groeneveld, who prefers the shot during indoor season, but would “way rather be outside throwing hammer and discus.”
“It was my goal to get the gold and to finish with finally throwing a 14m throw, so it couldn’t have been better,” said Groenveld, who had mixed feelings about her college career being over.
“I feel like I have done enough school but the track could keep going,” she smiled. “And it went by very quickly.”
Groeneveld started track in Grade 8 and moved from running events into throwing events in university, much to the delight of Dinos’ throwing coach Eric Koo.
“She’s been a dream, a real coach’s dream,” said Koo, a father of three who also coaches the University of Calgary Athletics Club (UCAC), “I don’t think I’ve ever coached anyone so dedicated. She works hard. She’s going to be very tough to replace.”
For now, Groeneveld plans to look for a full-time job in her field, and she definitely plans to continue in sport whether it’s track or changing over to the winter sport of bobsled.
“We have this test at the beginning of the year called the quad, it specifically tests speed and power and I always scored pretty good and that’s what they look for in people who bobsled, so I just might try it out,” said Groeneveld.