It was a perfect night for track and field Wednesday night at the Terry Fox Athletics Facility as the Ottawa Lions hosted the third of their famous Twilight Meets for the summer season. With the right conditions in place, three Lions jumped and ran their way into the record books, with new all-time top ten performances.
In the high jump, the conditions gave way to Steve Nkusi’s perfect opportunity to fly. The 19 year old University of Ottawa student had jumped a personal best 2.05m early in the indoor season, but had recently been hampered by injuries. With the Canadian Championships just over a week away, Nkusi was looking to surpass the qualification standard of 2.07m for this summer’s Pan American Junior Championships in Edmonton. However, Steve did much better, clearing a new personal best of 2.10m and moving himself into a three way tie for the lead in the Canadian Junior Rankings. The top two finishers at the national championships, with standard, will be named to Team Canada. Nkusi’s clearance also puts him in a tie for fifth on the club’s all-time rankings with Ray Seguin.
Also topping the list of Canada’s Junior Rankings was Matt Bedard in the 400m hurdles as he sped his way to a new lifetime best of 52.62 seconds, nearly three tenths better than his efforts at the Horizon League Championships in last month. With the time, Matt also moved up the all-time rankings to seventh, five spots and 1.49 seconds behind his coach Sasha Cesaratto. Like Nkusi, Matt will need a top two placing at the Canadian Championships to qualify for his first national team.
Finally, while doing a little speed preparation for nationals, 800m runner Charlotte Gardner became only the fifth woman in club history to break the 1 minute 30 second barrier for 600m, edging out University of Toronto runner Rachel Jewett – 1:29.87 to 1:29.91. With the time, Gardner moves into fourth on the club all-time list, one one-hundredth of a second behind Erinn Stenman-Fahey. As well, the University of Ottawa student broke Rachel Aubry’s Twilight Meet and Terry Fox Athletic Facility Record of 1:30.82 set in 2008. Charlotte had entered the race with a personal best time of 1:31.35 set while winning CIS bronze in 2013.
The Twilight Series will be return to action July 8th for Meet #4.