By Sam Draut
Whether he is competing in Barcelona, Spain, Ontario, Canada, or Louisville, Ky., Calvin Arsenault has ran well regardless of what sector of the globe he sprints across.
The junior from Kitchener, Ontario competes in the hurdles, running the 60 meter during the indoor season and the 110 meter and 400 meter races during the outdoor season.
Arsenault logged a third place finish with 14.22 seconds in the 110m hurdles last Friday at the Alabama Relays.
In the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational at Cardinal Park this past weekend, Arsenault finished second in the 110m hurdles and fifth in the 400m hurdles.
Arsenault enters the outdoor season coming off an American Athletic Conference championship in the 60m hurdles event for the indoor season though the season didn’t begin as smoothly as it finished.
“The indoor season didn’t start as well as I wanted to, it was more of a slow start, I didn’t start as fast as I wanted to, but as the season progresses, you learn new things, you fine-tune things,” Arsenault said.
Arsenault said the indoor season can be difficult to gear up for, beginning in January, because athletes are just coming off of the preseason. Additionally, a change in the fall workouts added a bit of a transitional period.
“We actually had a different weight coach, we worked out with the football weight coach this fall, so that added a lot more strength that I am used to, so that helped my foot speed which made my transition to the hurdles more difficult because that means everything is faster,” Arsenault said. “I wasn’t satisfied on what I was running, I started working harder in practice, trying to fine-tune some things and it finally clicked once conference season came around.”
Winning the AAC championship isn’t the first title Arsenault has won; he bagged the Canadian national title in 2011 for the 400m hurdles.
He qualified for the 2011 Pan Am Junior Championships and was a member of Team Canada that traveled to Barcelona, Spain.
“I made the world junior team over in Spain and that was an awesome experience, I made the semi-finals. Represented Canada really well, I PR’ed, it was a great experience running for your country on European soil,” Arsenault said.
Arsenault, who holds the school record in 400m and 110m hurdles, had a tremendous freshman year at Louisville. He qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round in the 110m hurdles and had four outdoor victories during the year.
Arsenault decided to run in the United States during his college years. He connected with University of Louisville sprints coach Terry Winston, who contacted him the end of his senior year. Arsenault came to Louisville for a visit in July and signed, coming to school the next month.
Despite being from another country, the transition culturally has been no different.
“I come from a decent size city in Canada to a large city here. The biggest difference was the training and the weight training,” Arsenault said. “I came from a program that didn’t lift weights. So, to come here where you are lifting three times a week and you’re training six times a week on the track that was more than double from what I was coming off in high school. So, that was the biggest adjustment, allowing your body to recover quicker to come back for workout after workout after workout.”
With the outdoor AAC championships around a month away, Arsenault has his goals lined up already.
“I want to get another conference title under my belt personally in my individual events and for the whole team to win the conference championship. I think we have the people to do it and I think we have the motivation behind us to do it,” Arsenault said.
“The NCAAs are separated into two separate meets, you’re going into the first round, I think I have already qualified for the first round, go in there and have strong showing because they take the top 12 there for the NCAA finals. So if I can a great first round I can qualify for the finals in Eugene, Ore. My ultimate goal is to be an All-American,” Arsenault said.