With conference championships taking place across all of Canada and most of the United States for university athletics, it was a very busy weekend on the track and in the field for the Lions. Highlighting the weekend were three athletes who brought home a combined four gold medals – Stephen Evans, Lauren Gale and Keira Christie-Galloway.
Keira Christie-Galloway captured her first Big 12 Conference Championship Saturday afternoon winning the 60 metre hurdles in a school and facility record 8.17 seconds. The Iowa State University transfer student has made a big impact in the short two months she’s been on the Ames, Iowa campus, dropping her personal best three times. Saturday’s performance places the 19 year old atop the Canadian rankings and is the fastest by a Canadian since 2017.
Also south of the border, Lauren Gale captured her first Mountain West Conference title over 400m in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The freshman at Colorado State University won in a come from behind effort over Jaylyn Harris of San Diego State University. Gale was two tenths behind at 200m and didn’t overtake Harris until she came off the final corner to win in 54.43 seconds. Gale, who missed the 200m final by one spot, helped Colorado State set a new school record of 3:40.55 in the 4x400m final to win bronze and secure another conference team title for the Rams.
At the Ontario University Athletics championship in Toronto Stephen Evans was one of just three men to capture individual double gold. The fifth year student at the University of Ottawa looked like a man on a mission this weekend. Beginning with the 1000m final Friday night, Evans bided his time near the front of the back through the opening four laps before laying down the hammer as the bell began to ring. As he took off, Evans’ competitors tried to match his kick but came up short as he won in 2:26.44.
It was a similar story of his kick being too strong for the rest of the field in Saturday’s 600m final. The defending USport silver medalist avenged his only loss on Canadian soil this year, out racing the the University of Toronto’s Jack Berkshire off the final corner to win by 23 hundredths of a second in a time of 1:19.68. Berkshire had out run Evans the previous weekend en route to running the fastest time in USports this year.
While not competing at one of the conference championships, combined events athlete John Claude van Biljon was victorious in the indoor heptathlon contested as part of the Quebec University Championships. Of note, Van Biljon set a new personal best of 4957 points, which is believed to be a new National Record for his native South Africa.
Other medalists from this past weekend include:
BRONZE Women’s 4x800m
Keili Shepherd, Sophia Skorenky, Marie-Eve Dahms, Maeliss Trapeau (uOttawa)
BRONZE Women’s Pentathlon
Nicole Istead (Carleton)
SILVER Women’s Distance Medley
Erinn Stenman-Fahey (Iowa State)
BRONZE Women’s 4x400m
Sharelle Samuel (Harvard)