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Athletics Canada names 2018 Pan American Combined Events Cup team

LePage and Oudenaarden return to Ottawa to defend titles

Ottawa – Athletics Canada announced today the eight-member team that has been selected to represent Canada at the 2018 Pan American Combined Events Cup. The event will take place at Ottawa’s Terry Fox Athletic Facility from July 3-4 and will also serve as the 2018 Canadian Combined Events Championships.

The Canadian team is led by defending champions Pierce LePage and Nicole Oudenaarden – the duo produced the first Canadian double on home soil in 2017 – and will see four athletes compete in both the senior and U20 age categories. Oudenaarden joined the 6,000-point club and set several new personal bests last year, while LePage held off a strong field to secure the first victory for a Canadian decathlete in the history of the event.

The team also features 2018 NCAA Champion Georgia Ellenwood who recently set a personal best of 6,173 points to lead the way for Canadian women so far this season.

“I take great pride in being able to represent Canada and to repeat as champion would be fantastic,” said Oudenaarden. “I was coming off a couple of tough seasons heading into last year’s meet, including several injuries, which made me extremely grateful and even hungrier. I am confident that I will pull together a beautiful heptathlon in July and will move up in the rankings – both IAAF and Canada. I want to be in Tokyo in 2020, therefore, I need to show that I’m a threat at these Championships. If I stay strong and stay focused it’ll be a great competition.”

“I have competed in Ottawa the last couple of years and it’s been a blast. Competing with other Canadians, in addition to international decathletes, makes the event fun. It’s always a great group,” said LePage. “Heading into 2017, I had a history of no-heighting [in pole vault] at the Combined Events Championships. Being able to overcome that and win really meant a lot to me given the struggles I had in previous years. I plan to start at zero, forget about my succuss at the Commonwealth Games, and work through the decathlon one event at a time. If I do that, I’m confident that I will put myself in a position to repeat as champion, which would mean a lot to me and only add to an already great season.”

 

Team Canada – 2018 Pan American Combined Events Cup

 

Senior team

Name

Event

Hometown

Club

Coach

Georgia Ellenwood

Heptathlon

Langley, B.C.

Langley Mustangs

Nate Davis

Nicole Oudenaarden

Heptathlon

Calgary

University of Calgary Athletics Club

Les Gramantik

Dylan Golow

Decathlon

Barrie, Ont.

Club d’athlétisme Saint-Laurent Sélect

Alfredo Villar-Sbaffi

Pierce LePage

Decathlon

Whitby, Ont.

Unattached

Gregory Portnoy

 

U20 team

Name

Event

Hometown

Club

Coach

Skylar Sieben

Heptathlon

Bragg Creek, Alta.

Caltaf

Esther Sieben

Kira Kopec

Heptathlon

Brooks, Alta.

Chinook Track and Field Club

Larry Steinke

Ryan Evans

Decathlon

Saint John, N.B.

St. John Track Club

Vickie Croley

Austin McLeod

Decathlon

London, Ont.

London Western Track and Field Club

Liz House

 

Staff

Name

Hometown

Role

James Holder

Ottawa

Head coach

Neill Davidson

Ottawa

Massage therapist

 

The 2018 Pan American Combined Events Cup will feature more than 50 athletes from 12 countries. Admission to Terry Fox Athletic Facility is free on July 3-4 to see athletes from around the world compete in two of the most gruelling events (the heptathlon and decathlon) before the 2018 Canadian Track & Field Championships kick into high-gear July 5-8 when admission starts as low as $20 per day.

“Last year was fantastic; it was Canada’s 150thand we were in the capital,” added Oudenaarden when asked about her experience in Ottawa. “There was so much pride. Everyone in the city was so patriotic that week. The spectators were so encouraging, they wanted to be part of it and wanted to go on that journey with you. I’m really looking forward to that support once again.”

For more information on the 2018 Pan American Combined Events Cup, 2018 Canadian Combined Events Championships and 2018 Canadian Track & Field Championships, visit www.athletics.ca/ottawa2018.

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