While small in number, the University of Ottawa Gee Gees were large in performance this past weekend at the USports Championships in Winnipeg. The team combined to bring home two medals, including gold from Stephen Evans, and four other top eight finishes.
As the lone male entrant for the Gee Gees, Evans and his gold medal performance in the 600 metres managed to outscore seven other universities as he finished 17th in the team standings. The fifth year political science appeared to use the same tactics he had in each of his previous two runs over three laps – stick with the leaders through 400 and out kick them on the final lap. While Manitoba’s Miguel Morrison fought hard to the line, he could not overcome Evans who won in a time of 1:19.44 to 1:19.64. Evans’ gold medal makes him just the fifth male in school history to capture a national title as an individual and the twelfth overall.
Evans did not have as much success in Friday’s 1000 metres final where he finished ninth overall. Entered as the top seed based on a performance over 800 metres, the St. Peter’s graduate struggled to find rhythm in the race after being nearly knocked off his feet on the first lap and spending most of the race in the middle of the pack. He would cross the line in 2:29.28.
The Gee Gees other medal of the championship was a bronze from the team of Mary Ollier, Sophia Skorenky, Madison Clarke and Maeliss Trapeau in the women’s 4×800 metre relay.The quartet’s time of 8 minutes 52.78 seconds was a one and a half second improvement on the Gee Gee record set by Skorenky, Clarke, Trapeau and Keili Shepherd in their fourth place finish at last year’s USports Championship. Trapeau took the stick from Clarke about 15 metres behind the University of Laval’s Aurélie Dubé-Lavoie who was in second and quickly worked to make up the stagger. The world junior semi-finalist managed to briefly move into the silver position on the bell lap before Dubé-Lavoie was able to pull away for good heading into the final corner. It was the first medal in the event for the Gee Gees since 2009.
For the women’s 4×400 metre relay it was a case of close but no cigar. Running in the second of three heats the team of Mary Ollier, Sydney Smith, Maeliss Trapeau and Madison Clarke did all they could to give themselves a shot at a medal. The quartet comfortable won their heat in a seasonal best time of 3 minutes 48.69 seconds. However, the Gee Gees were edged off the podium and into fourth by the University of Calgary and their 3:47.09 clocking during the final heat.
Full Gee Gee Results were as follows:
Stephen Evans – 600m (GOLD), 1000m (9th)
Maeliss Trapeau – 600m (6th)
Madison Clarke – 600m (7th), 1000m (11th)
Mary Ollier – 600m (8th)
Christina Hertner – Shot Put (10th)
Sydney Smith, Pernille Lund, Marie-Eve Dahms, Sophia Skorenky – 4x200m (11th)
Mary Ollier, Sydney Smith, Maeliss Trapeau, Madison Clarke – 4x400m (4th)
Mary Ollier, Sophia Skorenky, Madison Clarke, Maeliss Trapeau – 4x800m (BRONZE)