U of O athletes placed top ten in four events
This past weekend, six Gee-Gees travelled out east to compete in the U Sports Track and Field National Championships at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John.
The Gee-Gees competed over three days of competition, between March 31 and April 2. While none of the athletes medalled, the Gee-Gees placed in the top ten in all four events, with three fourth-place finishes falling just out of medal range.
Women 600 metre – Sydney Smith
Sydney Smith, a fifth-year biology student from Ottawa, opened the competition for the Gee-Gees on Thursday, March 31.
Smith placed first in her heat for prelims with a time of 1:33.50.
As the current Gee-Gees record holder in the 600m, Smith was a medal favourite in the event. She set the record this year with a U Sports best time of 1:29.38 in March.
Smith was confident going into the weekend, stating all she could do was have “trust in the race” and in herself.
Smith went into finals hoping to repeat her record-setting 1:29.38 from the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Championships earlier that month. The time would have given her an easy win in the finals, but Smith finished off of the podium with a time of 1:32.51.
Guelph Gryphon, Sadie-Jane Hickson took first in 1:32.142, after competing closely with Smith all season. Hickson was followed by Trinity Western’s Grace Konrad (1:32.233) and Saskatchewan’s Avery Pearson (1:32.474), before Smith’s placement in fourth.
Women shot put – Brianna Asiamah
On Friday, the Gee-Gees had second-year social work student, Brianna Asiamah competing in shot put.
Coming in ranked tenth nationally, Asiamah improved that ranking with an eight-place finish at the Championships.
Though she didn’t match her personal best of 12.48m, Asiamah’s first attempt was an impressive 12.31m. All of her later attempts landed in the 11m range, so her first throw was used to get her eighth place.
Men high jump – Thomas Sénéchal Becker
The Gee-Gees’ second field athlete, Thomas Sénéchal-Becker, also competed Friday night in men’s high jump.
Coming off a silver medal at the OUA Championships, the first-year health science student was competing at his first U Sports National Championships during his rookie season. Sénéchal-Becker was ranked third in the nation going into nationals.
The Gee-Gee started at a height of 1.96m. He cleared 1.96m, 1.99m, and 2.02m on his second attempt at each. Sénéchal-Becker missed three times at 2.05m, leaving his final height in competition at 2.02, which was good for a fourth-place finish.
Caleb Keeling of the Windsor Lancers and Daxx Turner of the Manitoba Bisons both cleared 2.05m for silver and bronze medals, respectively. Aiden Grout of the Toronto Varsity Blues went on for another two rounds on his own to successfully jump at 2.13m.
Women 4×400 metre relay – Doyin Ogunremi, Hannah Frazer, Frédérique Bell, Sydney Smith
The Women’s 4×400 metre relay team closed out the competition for the Gee-Gees on Saturday. The team was a medal contender at Nationals following a performance that had them just missing medals at the OUA Championships.
Doyin Ogunremi, Hannah Frazer, Frédérique Bell, and Sydney Smith all put up good individual times for a combined time of 3:54.71 and a seventh-place finish.
Together, the Gee-Gees women’s team placed eighteenth with a combined eight points. The men’s team placed nineteenth with five points, all coming from Sénéchal-Becker’s efforts in the high jump.