Lions shine south of the border

As Lions athletes competed across five states this past weekend, a number of news worthy performances were put forth. Headlining the list was Samantha Murphy’s Big 10 Championship victory in the 800m. Murphy, who is finishing her junior year at Illinois, won the tactical race in 2:06.62.  Next up for the Perth native is the NCAA preliminary championships taking place in Austin, Texas, May 23-25th, where she will need to finish among the top 12 competitors to qualify for the NCAA finals in early June. 
The other Lion runner to pick up a conference medal over the weekend was 1500m runner, Adam Palamar. The freshman at the University of Tulsa dropped more than five seconds off his personal best, running 3:45.41 to capture Conference USA silver at Rice University in Houston. The performance also meets the qualification standard for this summer’s Panamerican Junior Championships set for late August in Medellin, Colombia.
In North Carolina, a small group of sprinters rounded out  a two-week tour of the eastern United States that included six meets in fourteen days. Sprint hurdler Devyani Biswal continued the great start to her season with another two personal best performances, one Friday night in Raleigh (14.16) followed by a 14.06 clocking in Durham on Sunday. The time now moves Biswal into a tie for number eight on the club’s all-time performance list. Already in this short season, Devyani has dropped nearly a second off her PB.
Other strong performances in North Carolina came from Oluwasegun Makinde who showed he’s ready to make a push for Canada’s World Championship team this summer with winning performances in the 200m of 20.87 in Durham and 20.78 in Raleigh. Both times also exceed the Athletics Canada’s standards for qualification to the World University Games (FISU) in Kazan, Russia in July. Makinde was a fifth place finisher at the event in 2011. Also dipping under a FISU standard was 400m sprinter Michael Robertson who completed one lap in 46.75 seconds on Friday night in Raleigh.
The final contingent of athletes was competing at the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville. The combined event athletes kicked the competition off with Michele Krech posting personal best performances in the long jump and 800m on her way to posting a second best ever score of 4832 points in the heptathlon. Training partner Mark Chenery was less fortunate as an ankle injury forced him to withdraw from the competition midway through day two.
In the individual events, Mohammed Souleiman hit a bit of a breakthrough in the 1500m as he finally cracked the 3:50 mark, with a 3:48.90 clocking. The time surpassed his previous best by nearly four and a half seconds. In the women’s race, CIS rookie of the year, Emma Galbraith, ran 4:28.36, her third best ever performance at the distance. Finally, javelin thrower Brandon Heroux unleashed the javelin out to 69.18m. It was an impressive performance for Heroux who has spent the past eight months working on Wall Street as an analyst for J.P. Morgan and had not touched a javelin since competing at last year’s NACAC U23 Championship.