Nearly 100 club athletes made their way south of the border Saturday for the St. Lawrence University Invitational, the visitors had a considerable amount of gold to declare when they returned home. In total, Ottawa athletes captured 16 gold medals, 12 silver, 10 bronze, 2 meet records, 1 facility record and the women’s team title for the University of Ottawa Gee Gees.
Kicking things off was Katie Phillips in the women’s 5000m. The reigning CIS cross country rookie of the year led from the gun, running to a one and a half minute victory – crossing the line in 17:41.38. Phillips would return to the top of the podium at the end of the day, running the anchor leg on the University of Ottawa Gee Gee’s winning distance medley relay team.
Sekou Kaba and Devyani Biswal showed their hurdling prowess, sweeping the 60m hurdles for Ottawa. In the women’s events, Biswal sprinted past her twin sister Divya to win in 8.86 seconds. For Kaba, it was a record setting day, as he twice broke his own meet and fieldhouse record of 8.10 seconds . The Francophone Games champion ran 8.00 in the heats before taking gold in 7.99 seconds.
Also setting a meet record was distance runner Isabelle Kanz, who dipped under the previous standard in the women’s 1000m. The University of Ottawa senior won in a personal best 3:00.85, leading a trio of Gee Gees across the line to sweep the podium. In second was Chelsea Gillies while third went to Jennifer Murawsky.
It was also a successful day in the field events for the ladies, as Ottawa women picked up three gold, highlighted by the women’s pole vault. Lion Melinda Rock won the competition in a jump off with Felicite Kokron after both athletes cleared 3.45m without any failures. However, Kokron could take solace in the fact her clearance was her third successive personal best of the season and also equalled Rock’s University of Ottawa record set in 2012. In the horizontal jumps, Divya Biswal captured the women’s long jump with a best attempt of 5.25m. Finishing third in the competition was Krista Siprell. The fourth year Gee Gee followed up the performance with an 11.20m effort to win the triple jump.
Lastly, in one of the most dominating efforts of the day, Lauren Gale led an almost complete sweep of the top eight spots in the women’s 200m. The grade nine student, competing against some athletes nearly eight years her senior, won in a personal best 25.40 seconds, just ahead of Gee Gee Charifa Labarang in 25.43. While the bronze went to an athlete from SUNY Plattsburgh, four through eight went to Ottawa Lions athletes.
Other winners on the day included:
Charifa Labarang – Women’s 60m – 7.75
Justin Cameron – Men’s 500m – 66.95 Remy Binns – Men’s 800m – 1:57.02 Clare McGrath – Women’s 800m – 2:20.13 Charifa Labarang, Devyani Biswal, Shelani Fernando, Dominique Martel-Lamothe – Women’s 4x200m – 1:49.09 Tolu Makinde, Kevin M'Pindou, Justin Lalonde, Justin Cameron – Men’s 4x400m – 3:27.86 Lauren Gale, Caitlin Fischer, Sarah Jackson, Gabbie Campeau – Women’s 4x400m – 4:05.59 For photos of Saturday's competition, please check out our Facebook page - facebook.com/ottawalionstfc