Jackson, Kerr and Junior Women Set Records at WinterNational

With teams from as far away as Calgary and Saskatoon in town, the Ottawa Lions played host to their third meet of this indoor season, the uOttawa WinterNational Invitational, on Saturday where seven club members etched their names into the Dome record books.
The first record to fall by the way side was the midget 300m mark as Sarah Jackson crossed the finish line in 41.24 seconds. The new standard removed more than a second from the old mark of 42.33, set just two months by Erinn Stenman-Fahey. Jackson, a grade nine student at St. Mark’s High School in Manotick, has been having a breakout season under the tutelage of coaches Sasha Cesaratto and Richard Deneault, where she has already dropped more than a second and a half from her best time. Jackson also placed fifth in the youth 60m final with a near best time of 8.23 seconds.
In the field, pole vaulter Zachary Kerr continued his assault on the Dome records books as he raised the youth boys standard for the third time this season with a 4.15m clearance. Kerr’s previous record was a 4.06m vault from January’s Super Saturday Series meet. Despite the record, the two time OFSAA champion was short of his life time best of 4.40m set last weekend in Montreal. Kerr also holds the midget boys record.
The final record to fall on the day came at the hands of a determined quartet of junior women who entered the competition intent on eclipsing the 4x200m record of 1:42.91 set by the University of Ottawa in 2009. The team of Charifa Labarang, Victoria McIntyre, Clara Phillips and Shelani Fernando certainly had the pedigree with each possessing bests of 25.10 seconds or less, and didn’t disappoint with Shelani Fernando stopping the clock at 1:40.28. The foursome, coached by Andrew Pagé, were rarely challenged as Labarang quickly made up the stagger on the University of Saskatchewan on the first leg and never looked back.
Two other notable performances on the day came from the 1000m as both Emma Galbraith and Mohammed Souleiman put forth personal best efforts. Galbraith, who won the women’s race in 2:46.71, also set a new University of Ottawa record. Meanwhile, Souleiman also etched his name in the Gee-Gee record book with his 2:27.03 clocking to finish fifth in the men’s section.
The Lions return to action next on Saturday in Montreal as a small team will compete in the McGill Last Chance Open.