It was conference championship weekend across most of North America and Lions athletes made themselves known, picking up 12 medals. 2 conference records and 1 school record. At the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Championships at York University, Devyani Biswal got things started Friday night by running a seasonal best in the 60m hurdles, 8.66 seconds, to win bronze.
Biswal’s was the first of three bronze medals picked up Friday night. She was followed up by Ashley Connell who had the second best throw of her life in the shot put with a heave of 14.22m for third. Closing things out Friday was the quartet of Charlotte Gardner, Chelsea Gillies, Clare McGrath, and Jennifer Murawsky who decimated the previous University of Ottawa record in the 4x800m on their way to third place. Finishing in 8:58.73, the Gee-Gee time was about four and a half seconds faster than the previous standard.
Four more bronze were picked up Saturday, as Ashley Connell kicked things off in the first event, repeating her placing from the day before with a new personal best in the weight throw. Next, Nelson Cecereu picked up his first OUA medal with a 4.55m clearance in the pole vault, while the final medals came from relays. Running with the University of Toronto, Lindsay Brandys anchored her 4x200m team to bronze and a CIS Championship berth, while the University of Ottawa women’s 4x400m team of Gift Okankwu, Charlotte Gardner, Chelsea Gillies and Dominique Martel-Lamothe also finished third in a season best time of 3:52.92
South of the border, Divya Biswal had a big weekend at the New York State Collegiate Track Conference Indoor Championships in Rochester, where she captured gold in the 60 metre hurdles, long jump and triple jump for the St. Lawrence Saints, including notching a conference record in the hurdle prelims. For her success, Biswal was named top field performer of the meet.
In New York City, the Lions were represented by Adam Palamar and Emma Galbraith, both competing for the University of Tulsa, at the American Conference Championships. Palamar, who joined the sub 4-minute mile club earlier this season, captured the conference mile title in a time of 4:04.88, taking almost eight and a half seconds off the previous standard. The red shirt sophomore narrowly missed out on a second medal in the 3000m, finishing fourth in a personal best 8 minutes 13.70 seconds, two seconds out of bronze. Galbraith ran the third leg on the Tulsa distance medley relay team, as they won the event by more than four seconds.
Also of note south of the border was Olivia Robertson’s performance at the Big 12 Championships. Running on her home track in Ames, the Iowa State freshman finished eighth overall in 3000m. Robertson’s time of 9:32.82 now ranks her eighth in club history.
The Lions will host their final home meet of the indoor season this Saturday at the Dome @ Louis Riel.