The Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Championships ended with a bang for Lions athletes on Saturday with three athletes finding their way on to the podium.
Kicking things off was second year University of Ottawa student Charlotte Gardner as she ran a hard fought race to capture bronze in the 600m with a personal best time 1:31.40. After running the first two laps in third place, she was dropped back to fifth by 450m, but would find another gear entering the final homestretch as she sprinted past former Lion Fiona Callender and Kaitlyn Ayers of Guelph. Charlotte’s time now ranks her seventh all-time in club history and puts her in an elite group of 600m runners, Jen Perrault (Bronze – 2012), Julia Tousaw (Gold – 2009, Silver – 2008), Isabelle Gervais (Gold – 1999).
In the men’s pole vault, it was Olivier Gauthier-Kwan who rose to the championship occasion, twice bettering his personal best in the competition before landing in the silver medal position. A fourth year medical student, Gauthier-Kwan saved his best performance as a Gee-Gee for his final competition, clearing a personal best 4.75m on his final attempt to keep himself in medal contention before making it over 4.85m on his first attempt to secure his fate. In addition to adding 13cm to the lifetime best he set last weekend, Gauthier-Kwan also came within 2cm of the club’s long standing pole vault record of 4.87m set by Rob Lindsay way back in 1984.
Rounding out the trio who was middle distance star Mohamed Souleiman who nabbed a bronze in the highly competitive 1500m. With 14 runners having met standard, Moh was relegated to the “slow section”. However, that didn’t slow him down as he sped to a 3:50.79 clocking to win the first section by nearly three seconds. He would have to wait and watch, but with only two runners able to go faster in the second section, he captured the first ever medal in the 1500m my a University of Ottawa male.
The meet concluded with the men’s 4 x 400m relay team of Isaiah Moses, Wade Embury, Gabriel Tesfaye and Devin Biocchi going for the three peat. While the quartet would finish third in the “fast section”, it wasn’t enough to beat out the the top two teams from the first section and would be relegated to fifth with a time of 3:18.80.