Lions open 2019 with a bang

The Lions 2019 competitive season kicked off with a number of excellent performances last weekend with athletes competing in Sherbrooke and across the United States.

From Quebec, the club brought home six medals including a new University of Ottawa record in the pole vault. Gee Gee freshman Caroline Poirier added 3 centimetres to Felicite Kokron’s school record from 2015 with her 3.60m clearance. The performance was good enough for victory, 10 cm of the silver medalist from Sherbrooke. Also on the podium was teammate Annabelle Gagne who took bronze with a 3.35m clearance.

On the track, the Gee Gee women’s 4x400m team of Sydney Smith, Rebecca Brennan, Jennifer Dumoulin and Amanda Hummel also capture gold while the men took silver. Brennan also picked up an individual silver in the 3000m where she finished in 10 minutes 22.76 seconds. Also picking up a silver was Bertwin Ben-Smith who went 36.78 seconds for 300m.

At the Great Dane Classic on Staten Island, a pair of Lions swept the 1000m race. Running for the Gee Gees, Madison Clarke won the women’s event by nearly a second over Faten Laribi of Monroe College, finishing in 2 minutes 53.79 seconds. Clarke’s performance currently ranks her sixth in USPORTS, just one place ahead of teammate Maeliss Trapeau.

In the men’s event, it was near domination by the runners from the Nation’s Capital. Veteran Sebastian Saville won the event in a time of 2 minutes 28.01 seconds, less than two tenths off his personal best set last year. Saville led a near sweep of the top five positions as Lion Jeremie Venne took third in a personal best 2:28.75 while running for St. Francis University in Pennsylvania. Andrew Heffernan and Stephen Evans went fourth and fifth respectively, with “Heff” also setting a new lifetime best with his 2:29.58 clocking.

Lionel Muteba took silver in the men’s 60m with a 6.85 second clocking.

Elsewhere in the U.S., Harvard freshman Sharelle Samuel made her debut over 500m, finishing third at the Beantown Challenge with a time of 1:15.43. The performance places Samuel ninth on the club’s all-time list for the event. In Boulder, Colorado Lauren Gale handily won her debut 400m for the Colorado State Rams in a time of 55.25, more than two seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.

The Lions return to action this weekend with the hosting of the uOttawa WinterNational Invitational at the Louis-Riel Dome. For a full schedule and heat sheets, check out