With day one of the 2018 USports Championship kicking off on International Women’s Day, it seemed only fitting the first even was the women’s weight throw where two Lions were national finalists.
Leanna Garcia was the top Lion on the day, finishing sixth, based on her final round effort of 15.45m. The heave marked a new lifetime best for Garcia, who took the year off from the event in 2017. A fifth year human kinetics student at the University of Windsor narrowly edged her way into the final, requiring a seasonal best effort in the third round just to advance. Garcia will close out her collegiate career this evening in the shot put.
Right behind Garcia, in seventh place, was Ty Coulter who matched their pre-meet ranking. Coulter’s best throw of 15.09m was well off their University of Ottawa record of 15.87m, but marked the highest ever finish in a throwing event for a Gee Gee.
The only other event on day one to feature a Lion was the 600m where both Sebastian Saville from Carleton University and Stephen Evans from the University of Ottawa qualified for Saturday’s final. Saville was the top qualifier, winning heat two in a time of 1:19.20 while Evans was second in the first heat in 1:20.12 and advanced as one of the fastest losers.
In the women’s race, University of Ottawa freshman Maeliss Trapeau narrowly missed out on making her first national final, finishing one spot out in seventh. The Lycée Claudel posted her fastest time ever on a flat 200m track, crossing the line in 1:31.27. Teammate Madison Clarke was ninth in a time of 1:31.94. The pair will return to action Friday night in the 4x800m final where they will be gunning for a spot on the podium.
Also on day one was the start of the men’s heptathlon. Gee Gees fifth year senior Tolu Makinde got off to a great start in the seven event contest with a seasonal best effort of 7.09 seconds in the 60m. However, the joy was short lived as Makinde had the misfortune of triple faulting in the long jump and registering zero points. He currently sits in 11th position with a total of 1948 points.
Action resumes this afternoon at the Dennis Fairall Fieldhouse in Windsor at 3:45pm with the heptathlon 60m hurdles.