When Athletics Ontario convened last week to honour the province’s best athletes, four Lions athletes were recognized for their outstanding performances on the track and in the field in 2017.
Canada’s best 800m runner ever, Melissa Bishop, was again recognized as Ontario’s best senior female distance runner. For the third year in a row, Bishop lowered the Canadian record for 800m, running 1:57.01 at the Monaco Diamond League Meeting in July. In addition to her new national record, the Eganville native captured her fourth Canadian 800m title in Ottawa along with a 5th place finish at the IAAF World Championships in London.
Tim Nedow was also a repeat winner at the awards ceremony, taking home the award senior men’s throws category for the sixth straight year. Nedow was a double medalist at the Canadian Championships, picking up a silver in the discus and capturing his 5th straight shot put gold. The Brockville native also placed 16th in the shot put at the World Championship.
It was a triumphant return from retirement for Jason Dunkerley in 2017 as he was named the top male para track athlete. Just nine months after retiring from international competition, Dunkerley teamed up with guide Jeremie Venne to finish second in the T11 1500m at the IPC World Championships . It was Dunkerley’s sixth career world championship medal.
The final award was bestowed upon Sharelle Samuel who was named the province’s top youth girl sprinter. Samuel had a breakout season in 2017, highlighted by a silver medal in the 400m hurdles at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Nassau, Bahamas. It took a lifetime best performance of 59.59 seconds to find her way on to the podium, which was also the fourth best performance in club history. In addition, Samuel was also a double bronze medalist (400m/400mH) at the Canadian Junior Championships.