Scott Hutchinson has been quietly topping his McMaster school record for quite some time.
Originally set in 2011, Hutchinson’s mark of 35.17 at the 300m distance withstood the passing of another season, as the record-setter sat out the Marauders’ 2012 indoor campaign with an injury.
Hutchinson returned to training in the summer, and began beating his own personal benchmarks as he rounded back into form. But none of that improvement had come in sanctioned competition. That is, until this past weekend.
The fourth-year Marauder joined his teammates at the McGill Team Challenge in Montreal, where his record fell in spectacular fashion. Hutchinson shaved more than a full second off of his previous best, running the 300m in 33.85 to win his section and post the second-fastest time in Canadian Interuniversity Sport this season.
He explained that while he had expected to break the record in Montreal, given his training performances in recent months, the extent of his improvement came as a shock.
“Over the summer, I got a [personal best] at 400 metres, and at the track here which isn’t banked, I’ve been making personal bests,” said Hutchinson. “But I needed an official time.”
The Marauder veteran pays close attention to the national standings, and knew immediately where his record stood among the country’s best performances.
“I did know where I placed, because I keep track of that,” said Hutchinson. “I was so surprised with myself and happy with how I ran.
“The coaches also didn’t expect me to run a 33. I don’t think that anyone expected that. They did expect me to run a new record though, because I had been training well.”
While the Marauder veteran deservedly led the 300m field, teammate Rudy Baronette followed close behind with a time of 34.85 that placed him fourth at the meet and fifth in the country at that distance.
Hutchinson spoke of his training partnership with Baronette as a positive influence, with the two engaging in healthy competition on a daily basis.
“He’s very competitive with me, and he always wants to beat me,” said Hutchinson. “It helps to push me, and we joke a lot, so it’s been great to train with him.”
The McGill meet was also a milestone occasion for Jessica Tat, whose time of 1:33.02 in the 600m event marked a personal best and ranked fourth at the meet. She was also part of the women’s 4x200m relay team, including Abi Shanmugaratnam, Latisha Rhooms and Kara McPherson, that broke a McMaster school record with a time of 1:45.15.
The Marauders will split their squads this weekend to compete in the Meyo Invitational at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and closer to home at the York Invitational.