Great progress in second stint at nationals winning silver
The University of Ottawa now has seven U Sports medals to boast in the 2017-18 season across three sports. Stephen Evans, of the Gee-Gees track team, provided a great performance to finish off this athletics season for the Garnet and Grey, with a great come-from-behind run to finish just off the top of the podium.
This has not been a lifelong project of Evans, when high-school hockey was his focus, but in grade 12 he performed well at the Ontario Federation of School Athletics Associations (OFSAA) and was recruited by the Noah Holton of the U of O. He had not planned to pursue track any further as hockey had always been his focus.
In his second year at the U of O Evans committed fully to track. This year is his second at nationals and he won his first medal. He did a lot of training coming into this year, leading up to Ontario University Athletics (OUA)’s and the U Sports Nationals.
Evans talked about the training process he went through this year and how he excelled at OUA’s and the U Sports competition. “Your times get faster because you set yourself up in training to run faster at the bigger meets,” he said. “I always knew I could do this, even in third and second year I knew I could do this, but I knew it would be a process.”
Evans also has the Gee-Gees record at the Louis-Riel Dome, with a 1:18.3 time that beat Mike Robertson, one of his biggest track mentors. He explained his mindset going into races, if he’s just trying to put down a good time or beat the guy in front of him. “For a championship, (time) doesn’t matter to me. I could run 1:21, but if I’m getting a gold medal that’s what matters.”
In a great come-from-behind performance for the U Sports silver medal, which he finished in a blisteringly fast 1:19.50, Evans said, “There is certainty a sense of finality when you’re getting ready, when you’re lining up.”
“I started off that race a little further behind, I was fifth at one point, but I was able to stay composed, and I thought time doesn’t matter, as long as I get up in front.”
Before a race, preparation is big for high performance athletes like Evans. He stressed confidence and how he needs to keep reminding himself of his capabilities. In a race with the best in Canada, he makes sure to be confident and that there is a reason why he is in the position that he is.
Evans plans to continue running with the U of O and wants to keep his two feet atop the podium at OUA’s and the U Sports championships.