A middle distance sweep for Stephen Evans and two dominating wins in the heptathlon and women’s 4x800m relays highlighted a successful weekend at the McGill Team Challenge, Canada’s largest indoor competition.
The hard work is paying off early in the 2019 indoor season for University of Ottawa senior Stephen Evans. The fifth year political science and communication student claimed victory in both the 600m and 1000m in Montreal, signalling to the country that he is looking to improve upon his silver medal from last year’s USport Championships.
A week after running the fastest indoor 800m of his career, Evans jumped back on the #PBtrain to win the 1000m in 2:24.57, two and a half seconds faster than his previous best set last January. With the performance, he has a strangle hold on the top of the USport rankings, having run two seconds faster than anyone else this season.
Down a distance, the defending USport silver medalist was again the class of the field, edging Laval standout Yasine Aber by a narrow five hundredths of a second. Evans’ winning time of 1:19.49 was his fastest ever on a 200m track, a mere hundredth ahead of that medal winning performance from a year ago. In recognition of his efforts in Montreal, Evans was named the University of Ottawa Athlete of the Week.
The Gee-Gees dominated the women’s 4x800m field Friday night, winning by nearly 15 seconds over the otherwise all Quebec field. The quartet of Sophia Skorenky, Keili Shepherd, Marie-Eve Dahms and Maeliss Trapeau were able to get the baton around the Tomlinson Field House sixteeen times to finish in 9 minutes 19.99 seconds. The performance currently ranks the University of Ottawa fourth nationally.
The men’s heptathlon was dominated by John Claude Van Biljon, more commonly known by the initials JC, as he amassed 4904 points, 500 points clear of his nearest competitor. The South African born Van Biljon claimed individual victories in the long jump, high jump, and pole vault while failing to finish lower than second in any other event en-route to his victory. The performance currently ranks fourth in club history for the event.
Christina Hertner continued to knock at the door of the 13 metre barrier as her final round effort of 12.73m was good enough for silver in the shot put. Also standing on the second rung of the podium was Gee Gee freshman Annabelle Gagne who snagged a silver in the pole vault. The Louis-Riel grad cleared 3.35m to equal her seasons best.
Bronze medals also came from the Gee Gees women’s 4x400m relay team of Sydney Smith, Hanna Frazer, Sophia Skorenky, and Stephanie Leask and triple jumper Kyle Sprague.