Lions win two medals at CIS and NCAA Championships

Championship weekend has come to a close and Lions athletes walked away with two silver medals from the Canadian Interuniversity (CIS) and NCAA Championships. Divya Biswal leapt to a silver at the NCAA Division III Championships while Ashley Connell grabbed her silver in the CIS women’s shot put.

Competing in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Saturday, Divya Biswal bounded out to a distance of 12.17m in the fourth round to secure her fourth national medal for St. Lawrence University. The distance also extended her own school record. The previous day, the fourth year student put forth a seasonal best effort of 5.46m in the long jump to finish seventh overall. For efforts at the championship, Biswal was awarded two All-American distinctions, pushing her career total to seven.

In Windsor, at the CIS Championships, thrower Ashley Connell rebounded from a disappointing seventh place finish in the weight throw to win her first CIS medal with a new lifetime best of 14.62m. The distance moved Connell, a second year student at the University of Guelph, into sixth on the Lions all-time list and also moved her into eighth in CIS Championship history.

In the women’s 60 meter hurdles, Devyani Biswal narrowly wedged her way into the final, grabbing the seventh and final spot. However, she proved she belonged, speeding to a new lifetime best of 8.53 seconds to finish fifth overall. The fourth year Gee-Gee must really enjoy the Windsor track as her previous best was set two years prior on the same track when she won OUA bronze. Alexia Lamothe, a freshman at the University of Windsor, finished 13th overall.

After meddling at the OUA championships two weeks prior, the University of Ottawa women’s 4x800m relay team was looking to get back on the podium. Despite the second best performance in school history, the quartet of Charlotte Gardner, Chelsea Gillies, Clare McGrath, and Lina Sadqi would settle for fifth overall with a time of 9:02.16. With at least three of the four expected to return next year, the future looks bright for another medal opportunity.

As the lone male representative, pole vaulter Nelson Cecereu did not disappoint as he leapt to a new lifetime best of 4.72m. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the fourth year Gee Gee as it took him three attempts to clear his opening height of 4.42m. The clearance put Cecereu in seventh overall on the count back and reaffirmed his third place position on the Lions all-time list.

Other results from the weekend included:

7th place – Women’s 4x400m relay – University of Ottawa 3:53.40 (Gift Okankwu, Charlotte Gardner, Chelsea Gillies, Charifa Labarang
8th place – Women’s 600m – Charlotte Gardner 1:34.41
11th place – Women’s Pole Vault – Felicite Kokron 3.41m

Lindsay Brandys, a freshman at the University of Toronto, ran in the women’s 4x200m preliminaries for the Varsity Blues. The Varsity Blues were also crowned CIS Women’s Track and Field Champions.