Lions own relays; Pick up 8 medals on final day

As the dust began to settle on another edition of the Canadian Track and Field Championships, the Ottawa Lions went out with a bang, picking up a total of eight medals on the final day of competition. The medal haul was driven primarily by the relay crews which picked up seven medals, including three gold.

Gold medals came from the senior women’s 4x100m and both men’s and women’s senior 4x400m relay teams. Stephanie Gould ran lead off for both victorious women’s teams, helping each to times of 48.10 seconds and 3:51.13 respectively.

The men’s team of Bertwin Ben-Smith, Stephen Evans, Saj Alhaddad and Sebastian Saville dominated the open men’s 4x400m winning in a time of 3:15.56 was nearly six seconds ahead of their nearest competition.

Relay gold was the second medal of the session for Saj Alhaddad after opening the final day’s session with silver in the 400 metre hurdles following a 51.50 second clocking. Alhaddad was thankful for the performance after last year’s final where he crashed out of the race. The Syrian born runner pushed the pace throughout the race, but said nagging back injury slowed his momentum into the final hurdle and Malik Metivier of Etobicoke capitalized to take the gold.

In an oversight from Saturday night’s session, we missed reporting the silver medal in the senior women’s triple jump from Divya Biswal. This was the second straight silver for the St. Lawrence University graduate, who produced a best effort of 12.51m on the night.

Despite being below her personal best from a year ago, Biswal said the competition gave her hope for the future. Her work on Wall Street as an analyst at a hedge firm has shifted her focus this season.”The running is there. The speed is great. My body is just not used to it,” said Biswal. She hopes to build on the positives from this weekend as she heads out on the club’s European tour this week.

The other medals from the final days came from the following relay teams:

SILVER – U20 Women 4x100m – 51.59s (Caroline Poirier, Annabelle Gagne, Julia Maine, Eleni Pantieras)

SILVER – Open Women 4x400m – 4:59.56 (Marie-Eve Dahms, Sophia Skorenky, Emmanuelle Keogh, Rebecca Brennan)

BRONZE – Open Women 4x100m – 51.51s (Marie-Eve Dahms, Mary Ollier, Claudine Nafaa, Svetlana Martynova)

BRONZE – U20 Men 4x400m – 3:24.96 (Joe Fast, Matthew Hebert, Quinn Lyness, Zach Meredith)

Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the Championships, especially the countless volunteers, officials and coaches who helped make the meet a success.

See everyone in Montreal next year for the 2019 Canadian Championships