Regina Leader-Post

Propp on track for big finish to college career

- IAN HAMILTON Adrea Propp

Adrea Propp has covered a lot of ground during her five seasons with the University of Regina Cougars track and field team.

Her Cougars career is to come to an end Saturday, when the CIS championsh­ips wrap up in Windsor, Ont. With the finish line in sight, the 22-year-old Propp is looking back on her time on the track with pride.

“I’m impressed with myself that I’ve come this far because I never really did track that seriously in high school,” the product of Michael A. Riffel High School said Tuesday, two days before the CIS meet is to begin.

“I pretty much started track in university, so for me, getting to compete against all these other athletes from other schools — some who are pursuing Olympic dreams, some who have been doing it their whole lives — has made me thankful for having this opportunit­y.

“I never dreamed I would make it this far, so this is all just kind of a big bonus.”

Propp has been productive for the Cougars previously, attending the Canada West and CIS championsh­ips in each of her seasons.

She has competed individual­ly in the 300- and 600-metre races and with Regina’s teams in the 4x200 and 4x400m relays over the years. But this season has been her best so far.

Propp, whose previous best finish in the 300m at the Canada West championsh­ips was fourth, won the gold medal at the 2015 conference meet. She added a silver medal in the 600m, easily surpassing her previous Canada West best of sixth place. She also was part of the 4x200m team that won a bronze medal at the conference championsh­ips.

Propp pointed to a lot of reasons for her showing this season, from the experience she has gained over the years to a diminishin­g workload at school to her health. It all has been a perfect storm for her.

“And I’ll take it,” Propp said with a chuckle.

She’ll make her first career appearance in the 300m at nationals and her second in the 600m (an event in which she finished 10th last season). She also will be part of the U of R’s 4x200m relay team.

“Like most meets, it’s my goal to run the best race I ever have and to improve on what my current times are,” said Propp, who holds the school record in the 600m. “I like to know that I’ve been learning from my mistakes and tailoring my races to be the best that I can.”

She goes into the meet ranked eighth in the CIS in the 600m and ninth in the 300m. Regina is ranked sixth in the 4x200m relay.

“She has gotten better every year,” Cougars head coach Bruce McCannel said. “The races she’s in are ultracompe­titive and are races that take a lot of experience to be good at.

“She’s such a competitiv­e and hard-working girl that she could really surprise some people (in Windsor) — at least the people who haven’t raced her yet.”

The Cougars women’s team at nationals comprises Propp, Joy Becker, Kelsey Bohachewsk­i, Elisabeth Fortier, Renee Lavoy and Merissa Margetts. Regina’s men’s squad includes Ahmed Alkabary, Connor Bloom, Kahlen Branning, Tevaughn Campbell, Matt Johnson, Ian McLellan and Liam Nystuen.

During the Canada West championsh­ips, Propp ran the 300m on Feb. 27. The next day, she competed in the 600m, had a break, ran in the 4x200m relay (posting her fastest split ever), had another break, and then participat­ed in the 4x400m relay.

That won’t be an issue at the CIS meet, where the schedule is friendlier — both physically and mentally.

“It’s one thing at a time,” Propp said. “If it was, ‘Oh, you have six races this weekend,’ that can get a little overwhelmi­ng.

“(Her events) are a little spaced out. It’s not like they’re 40 minutes apart. I’ll actually have time if I need to go find a garbage can (for, uh, regurgitat­ion purposes), so that’s a big plus.”

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