Over the weekend, Lions athletes did something that had not been accomplished since 2002, taking home a club record equalling 10 gold medals from the OFSAA Track and Field Championships in Toronto. In addition to the haul of golds, Lions athletes all garnered five silver and two bronze for a total of 17 medals – one more than last year’s take.
Among the many winning performances, two out did all those before them as Keira Christie-Galloway and Larissa Brown each set new OFSAA records in their respective events. Coming off her silver in the long jump on Thursday, Christie-Galloway ran down the competition in Friday’s junior girls 80m hurdles event. After posting the fastest time in the heats, Keira found another gear in the finals, trimming two tenths of a second off the previous provincial standard, crossing the line in 11.24 seconds. The other record on Friday came from Larissa Brown of St. Mark High School who defended her title in the visually impaired 100m with a new record 14.01 seconds. Brown had set the previous standard of 14.20 seconds in 2014.
In addition to the record setters, freshman Lauren Gale of South Carleton and Stanford bound senior Claire Smith each picked up multiple gold medals. Gale, who was gunning for the midget girls 400m record on Friday, was the class of the field with her winning time of 54.76 seconds putting her 30 to 40 meters ahead of her nearest competitor. After comfortably winning the 300m hurdles in a personal best 44.17 seconds, Lauren faced her stiffest competition in the 200m final where she used a late surge to eek out victory by just two hundredths of a second in a personal best 24.60.
For Glebe Collegiate senior Claire Smith, she picked up the distance double which narrowly escaped her grasp in 2014. Smith comfortably captured her first senior girls 1500m title on Friday night with a 4:29.44 second clocking, almost found seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. On Saturday, in her stronger event, the 3000m, Claire appeared to be playing a game of cat and mouse with long time rival Charlotte Prouse of London’s Catholic Central as the two ladies kept exchanging the lead until with about two laps to go, Smith laid down the hammer, breaking Prouse, and running away with a seven second victory.
While she would be unaware at the time, Claire’s victory was the first of a lady Lions sweep of the 3000m OFSAA titles. In the junior category, Shona McCulloch set a new personal best of 9 minutes 37.10 seconds enroute to winning her second OFSAA title in as many years. Finishing things off was Glebe freshman Mei Mei Weston, who was victorious in the midget girls race with a time of 10 minutes 4.03 seconds. Weston was also a bronze medallist in the 1500m.
The final gold of the weekend came from Canterbury senior Erinn Stenman-Fahey, who captured her first OFSAA title in her final high school race. The world junior semi-finalist dropped a negative split on her way to victory in 2 minutes 10.97 seconds. Erinn had priously won silver (2014) and bronze (2013) over 800m at OFSAA.
Other medallists from OFSAA included:
Eric Mitchell – Junior Boys 100m Silver – 11.02 seconds
Eric Mitchell – Junior Boys Long Jump Silver – 6.83 metres
Reilly McCann – Junior Boys 3000m Silver – 8 minutes 37.55 seconds
Wariso Dullo – Midget Boys Javelin Silver – 52.33 metres
Keili Shepherd – Junior Girls 800m Bronze – 2 minutes 16.76 seconds