A small group of Ottawa Lions athletes kicked off their Eastern USA spring tour last week with some great results, headlined by Olympian Oluwasegun Makinde. Running last Wednesday at Liberty University in Charlottesville, Virginia, Makinde set a new personal standard in claiming victory with a 20.51 second victory. The mark also moves him to number two on the club’s all-time list and satisfies Athletics Canada’s “A” standard for this summer’s Commonwealth Games. Makinde warmed up for his speciality by placing second in the 100m final earlier in the day with an all conditions best of 10.22w seconds. Makinde followed up this performance with a second place finish in the 200m at the Tennessee Challenge meet on Saturday where he crossed the line in 20.80. He would also finish second in the 100m in 10.47.
Also in Virginia, Mohamed Souleiman kicked off his outdoor season with a victory in the 800m as he sat and kicked his way to a 1:50.37 clocking, just 52 hundredths ahead of Liberty University’s John Sherrett. On the homestretch, CIS hurdles record holder Sekou Kaba adjusted to the longer outdoor race in finishing second in the 110m distance with a windy 13.95 clocking. The final podium finish came from Michael Robertson in the 400m, as he finished third in 47.34 seconds.
Next stop on the tour was Knoxville, Tennessee where Mohamed Souleiman was once again the first across the line – this time winning the 1500m in 3:49.63. Moh was the only runner to break 60 seconds on the bell lap, providing him with the one and a half second cushion for victory. He would double back later in the day, losing the 800m in a nail biter – 1:52.03 to his 1:52.09. Sekou Kaba would also emerge victorious in Knoxville, claiming the 110m hurdles in a windy 14.06.
Elsewhere in the United States, Divya Biswal left the New York State Collegiate Track Association Championships with a trio of gold medals, claiming victory in both the long and triple jump as well as the 100m hurdles. Biswal, a junior at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, kicked things off by leaping to a new personal best 5.61m to win the long jump on Friday. She would follow up with another 12 metre plus effort in the triple jump and a time of 15.83 in the hurdles. Biswal is currently ranked 2nd (triple jump) and 18th (long jump) in NCAA Division III.
In Princeton, New Jersey javelin thrower Brandon Heroux had his second outing of the season where he produced a best effort of 65.99m to finish second. Heroux is currently the 7th ranked javelin thrower in Canada.
Rounding out the weekend performances was heptathlete Michele Krech who competed at the Multistars meet in Florence, Italy. Krech finished 15th at the IAAF World Combined Events Challenge event with a score of 4721 points.