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Gee-Gees athletes set 11 new school records

Photo credit: Edwin Tam

A young Gee-Gees squad competed hard at the 2015 track and field championship, finishing the weekend with 11 new school records.

The squad travelled to the University of Windsor for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships March 12–14. During the first day of competition, third-year Charlotte Gardner ran in the preliminary heats of the 600-metre race. Gardner finished with a time of 1:34.41 and came in sixth in the women’s final.

Day two of the championship was exciting for the Gee-Gees, as many of them had great finishes in their races. Third-year Devyani Biswal qualified for the 60-metre hurdles final, and ran her personal best in the race with a finishing time of 8.53 to place fifth. Biswal was only a hundredth of a second short to Saskatchewan’s Astrid Nyame, who came fourth.

“I felt that I was peaking at the right time of the season and would be able to have a good performance,” said Biswal.

She said the fast track and encouraging atmosphere in Windsor brings out the best in a lot of athletes.

“Running in lane seven, I could feel the tension and it really gets you going to compete. My start was one of the best I’ve had all year, and I knew that if I was over the first hurdle quickly I’d be with them. I tried to stay focused on my lane, and every time a girl took a step I tried to be right there,” said Biswal. “At the end, I couldn’t ask for more out of my race.”

The women’s 4×800-metre relay team also had a strong performance, finishing fifth in the final. Gardner, Chelsea Gillies, Clare McGrath, and Lina Sadqi ran a time of 9:02.16, the second best in Gee-Gees history.

It was a personal best for pole-vaulter Nelson Cecereu, as he cleared 4.72 metres in his first height, cleared his next two heights perfectly on his second attempts, and ended the day with a final height of 4.82. Overall, Cecereau finished seventh in the country.

For the 4×400-metre relay team, Charifa Labarang, Gift Okwanku, Gardner, and Gillies had a strong finish in the first heat with a final time of 3:53.40. However, the team dropped to seventh in the final standings. The Gee-Gees will now wrap up their season and head into the summer for outdoor training. With many returning players, the garnet and grey have high hopes for next year.