Busy weekend for Lions athletes

It was another busy weekend for Lions athletes as the the NCAA season is swinging into full steam, the high school outdoor season just kicked off and the club was well represented at the IAAF World Relays in Bahamas.

At the Payton Jordan Invitational in Stanford, both Adam Palamar and Samantha Murphy picked up seasonal bests and in their respective events and victories in their heats. For Palamar, his 1500m winning time of 3:41.60 was his fastest clocking since breaking the Canadian Junior record in 2013, when he ran 3:38.92. Next up for the University of Tulsa Junior is the American Conference Championships in two weeks time. Murphy captured her 800m heat in 2:06.51, taking more than a half second off her season opening performance from two weeks ago.

Back on the east coast, Divya Biswal completed the trifecta at the New York State Collegiate Track Championships, taking victory in the 100m hurdles, long jump and triple jump. After narrowly edging out a 1cm victory in the long jump (5.41m), Divya had a breakthrough hurdles race in the semi finals, dropping almost half a second off her previous lifetime best, running 14.62 seconds. She would follow it up with a photo finish victory in the final, eeking out gold by five thousandths of a second. She rounded out the meet with by bounding out to 12.15m to win the triple jump. The distance moves her into a tie for second in the NCAA Div III rankings.

Further down the eastern seaboard, on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, Lions athletes picked up four victories, highlighted by Charlotte Gardner’s 400m/800m double. What made the double even more impressive for Gardner was the fact she did it in the span of 25 minutes. First, she captured the 800m in 2:12.09 before taking the 400m in 57.93. Karelle Edwards was also victorious, capturing the 100m hurdles in 13.61. Second place went to Devyani Biswal in a seasonal best 14.16 seconds. The final victory of the day came in the 200m as Charifa Labarang posted a seasonal best 24.60 seconds. Labarang was also third in the 100m.

Back in Ottawa, the outdoor high school season kicked off at Terry Fox with a sold out competition. Among the notable performances by Lions athletes were Hailey Adams’ junior girls high jump victory with a clearance of 1.63m and Emily Sprague’s 1.66m clearance in the high jump as she won the senior girls event. The height from Sprague is her second personal best in two weeks. For the boys, the highlight was Eric Mitchell’s victory in the junior boys long jump, as the grade student leapt out to 6.80m for the victory. Mitchell’s margin of victory was 1.25m or an eye popping 4 feet 1 inch.

However, not to be outdone in eye popping performances, grade nine South Carleton student Lauren Gale set the track on fire at the Hungerford Track and Field Classic in Brockville sweeping the midget 200m and 400m events. In the 200m, Gale sped to a time of 24.83 seconds, winning by more than a second and a half. However, the show stopper was in the 400m, where she completed the one lap event in 55.98 seconds – a full six and a half seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. To put things in perspective, Gale’s 400m time would have won OFSAA last year, and in all but one year since 1972 (the year they began keeping records).

At the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas, the Lions were well represented by the trio of Oluwasegun Makinde, Michael Robertson and Farah Jacques, who was an alternate on the women’s 4×4 and 4×1 teams. Running the third leg for Canada in the 4x400m relay, Robertson helped Canada to a seasonal best 3:07.80 performance, but the quartet failed to advance – finishing 20th overall. For Makinde, however, a bobbled first exchange nullified his run, making Canada one of five teams in the heat who were disqualified.