Kerr Soars to Silver on Day 2 of Junior Championships

Pole vaulter Zachary Kerr got day two of the Canadian Junior Championships started off on the right foot, picking up the first medal of the championships for a Lions athlete. Kerr, a four time OFSAA champion, had a best clearance of 4.45m before failing on three attempts to equal his lifetime best, 4.55m. The height left him in a tie with Connor Young of Speed River, but Kerr was declared the silver medalist by virtue of clearing 4.45m with fewer attempts.

Alexia Lamothe had a successful day in the hurdles. The recent Carine Wilson grad continued to prove she is one of the top junior sprint hurdlers in the country, finishing fifth in the 100m hurdle final. Her time of 14.33 seconds, just off her personal best, was made more impressive by the -1.7 m/s headwind. However, Lamothe’s day wasn’t over as she returned in the evenings session to put up the fourth fastest time in qualifying for the 400m hurdles, advancing to today’s final.

In the penultimate event of day two, the women’s 3000m event, 17 year old Claire Smith showed she was running for a spot on the World Junior Championship team from the gun with the top two runners making the team. By the 1 km mark, the trio of Smith, Gabriella Stafford and Heather Petrick had clearly asserted themselves as the front runners. However, fronting running by Smith in the windy conditions seemed to catch up with her in the final 500m as Stafford and Petrick began to pull away and she was eventually passed by two others with about 250m to go as she would cross the line in 5th. Her time of 9:37.79 was the third best performance of her life.

The two other top eight finishes of the day came from high jumper Steve Nkusi and hammer thrower Leanna Garcia. Nkusi, a bronze medalist at the recent OFSAA Championships, had a best clearance of 1.99m to finish sixth. Garcia, who just completed her first year of studies at the University of Windsor, produced a best throw of 45.48m to finish eighth in the hammer throw.