As we set out on a new year, we thought it would be helpful to take a look back at 2014 and a few of our accomplishments. Our sport is, by nature, one decided by the numbers. So as we look back, here are some of our numbers for 2014.
One Commonwealth Games gold medal, won by hammer thrower Sultana Frizell. She captured her second Commonwealth gold by throwing a Games record 71.69m. She remains the only club member to ever win individual gold at the Commonwealth Games
Lions athletes set two new Canadian records in 2014. Sultana Frizell kicked things off by extending her own national hammer throw record with a throw of 75.73m in May. Youth distance runner Claire Smith set her national record and didn’t even realize it when she ran 9:35.39 for 3000m to win OFSAA gold. She would shatter it again, running 9:22.75 at a Twilight Meet in late June.
The Ottawa Lions capture three provincial banners in 2014, including taking home their 10th straight overall club championship. The junior squad won their 10th title in 12 years while the midget team won for the 7th year in a row.
Lions athletes set four new provincial standards in 2014. In addition to Sultana Frizell’s hammer mark, Melissa Bishop lowered her own 800m record with a new best of 1:59.70. Bishop is the only woman in Ontario to ever break the 2 minute barrier for 800m. Claire Smith set the new standard in the U19 women’s 5000m, running 16:31.88 on her 17th birthday. The final mark came from the quartet of Keira Christie-Galloway, Alexandra Ethier, Lauren Gale and Shona McCulloch who set a new mark in the midget girls sprint medley relay with a time of 4:11.46.
Club athletes set seven new club records in 2014, headlined by the likes of hammer thrower Sultana Frizell and 800m runner Melissa Bishop. Michael Robertson broke both of his own 300m and 400m records, running 33.20 and 46.29 respectively. New men’s and women’s records were set in the 1000m with Mohamed Souleiman running 2:22.46 in New York City and Melissa Bishop going 2:38.75 in Amsterdam. The quartet of Devin Biocchi, Gord Frenke, Michael Robertson and Denray Jean-Jacques erased a 17 yr old record in the 4x400m with their 3:11.02 run in North Carolina.
Just how many meets do the Ottawa Lions host? Well in 2014 – 30! Yes, when you add up all the Dome Super Saturday Meets, the high school invitational meets, the Summer Twilight Meets and the like, we hosted more meets than anyone else in Canada. Of course, this says nothing of us hosting the Athletics Ontario Junior/Senior Championships and the Panamerican Combined Events Cup for the third year in a row.
In a sign of depth, it wasn’t just records being broken in 2014 as a total of 60 new all-time performances were made – a pretty impressive feat for a 41 year old club. Hammer throwers had the heel-tow turns rolling with four performances in the weight throw and a further four in the hammer throw. Also in the field, five top ten performances were put forth in the pole vault, including Olivier Gauthier-Kwan’s CIS silver medal winning 4.85m clearance. The male sprinters laid down the most vicious assault on the record book with Michael Robertson, Oluwasegun Makinde, Gord Frenke and Gabriel Tesfaye re-wrote the top four in the men’s 300m.
Lions athletes took home an astounding 152 medals provincially and nationally, including 25 at Canadian Championships, 4 at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships and 27 at Canadian Masters Championships.