They say records are made to be broken. You just don’t always expect them to be broken by teammates. Such was the case for Sharelle Samuel over the weekend as the Canadian U20 4×400 metre relay record she had held for a year was bested at the Pan American U20 Championships by club mate Lauren Gale and her Canadian teammates.
While Samuel had run anchor when the previous standard was set at last summer’s IAAF World U20 Championships, it was Gale kick starting things Sunday in the lead off role. According to Team Canada coach Derrick Johnston, Gale sped through the field in an impressive 52.75 seconds before passing the baton to Aurora Wynda – the only hold over from the 2018 team.
In the end, Team Canada anchor Catherine Leger closed out the event with a blistering 51.81 second final lap as the Canadian women set a new standard for the event of three minutes and 30.68 seconds. The mark bested the previous record by one and a quarter seconds.
Before the relay, Gale was also a finalist in the open 400 metres. The Colorado State University student finished seventh overall with a time of 54.67 seconds. Gale has at least one more race to go in this long season as she will be looking for her first Canadian U20 gold at 400 metres this weekend in Montreal.
Also making the finals in San Jose, Costa Rica this weekend was Helena Jovic. The recent John McRae graduate finished eighth overall in the 400 metres hurdles Sunday with a time of 61.83 seconds. Jovic will also return to action this weekend at the Canadian Championships where she will be in a strong battle for gold with Canadian teammate Brooke Overholt who was seventh in Sunday’s final.
Rounding out the Lions contingent competing in Costa Rica was Leewinchell Jean who finished 11th overall in the men’s 400m hurdles in a time of 53.75 seconds.