Track & Field
(SAINT JOHN, NB) The Guelph Gryphons captured the women’s and men’s team titles at the 2022 U SPORTS Track and Field Championships, presented by Saint John LNG, at the Irving Oil Field House, in Saint John.
Guelph beat Saskatchewan and Western in the women’s team standings, and Toronto and Western in the men’s competition.
The day began on a historic note for the host UNB Reds, with Fredericton’s Lexie Shannon winning the women’s triple jump. She’s the first UNB athlete to win a gold medal at the national championships.
“It’s so exciting, especially since I did it here at my home track,” said Shannon. “All my family was here, and friends, so exciting.” Shannon beat Toronto’s Kristen Schulz and Alberta’s Autumn Cole.
In the men’s triple jump, Toronto’s Femi Akinduro took gold, with Western’s Kenneth West and Manitoba’s Daxx Turner finishing second and third.
Toronto’s Emily Branderhorst won the women’s high jump, clearing 1.78 metres. Calgary’s Madison Mayr was second. Waterloo’s Hannah Blair and Regina’s Joely Welburn tied for third.
Guelph’s Mark Bujnowski won his second gold medal of the weekend, winning the men’s shot put with a distance of 18.30 metres. He beat Laval’s Mathieu Massé-Pelletier and Saskatchewan’s Brennan Degenhardt.
Trinity Western’s Jaime Eduardo Martin won the men’s pole vault, beating Sherbrooke’s Maxime Leveille and Windsor’s Nojah Parker.
On the track, Guelph’s Sadie-Jane Hickson won her second gold medal of the weekend, winning the women’s 600 metres. Grace Konrad, of Trinity Western, and Saskatchewan’s Avery Pearson were second and third. All three finished within 3/10ths of a second.
In the men’s 600 metres, Marcus Nandlal, of the Varsity Blues, beat Windsor’s Ben Tilson and Sherbrooke’s Micael Anku.
In the women’s 1500 metres, Western’s Kate Current was the gold medalist, in a time of 4:20.90. Toronto’s Jazz Shukla was second and Windsor’s Sydney Pattison took the bronze.
In the closest finish of the day, Laval’s Jean-Simon Desgagnés won the men’s 1500 metres, beating Guelph’s Alec Purnell by 1/100th of a second. Calgary’s Eric Lutz was third.
Guelph established a new U SPORTS record in winning the women’s 4-by-200 metre relay, beating Saskatchewan and Laval in a time of 1:36.20, 2/10ths better than the previous record.
"Setting the record is the coolest thing,” said Guelph’s Morgan Byng. “With all the lockdowns we have been working so hard. In my final year, I just wanted to have some fun, run fast, and things just lined up.”
Alberta won the men’s 4-by-200, beating Saskatchewan and Guelph.
The Golden Bears also won the men’s 4-by-400 metres, edging Guelph by less than 4/10ths of a second. Toronto was third.
In the women’s 4-by-400, the Gryphons were first, followed by Saskatchewan and Western.
Guelph’s Sadie-Jane Hickson and Mark Bujnowski were named female and male Athletes of the Meet, while Gryphons’ head coach Jason Kerr was named women’s team coach and men’s team coach of the year.
2021-22 TRACK AND FIELD INDIVIDUAL AWARDS
- Athlete of the Meet – Mark Bujnowski (Guelph)
- Track Performer of the Year – Jean-Simon Desgagnés (Laval)
- Field Performer of the Year – Mark Bujnowski (Guelph)
- Rookie of the Year – Matthew Beaudet (McGill)
- Student-Athlete Community Service Award – Eric Lutz (Calgary)
- Coach of the Year – Jason Kerr (Guelph)
- Female Athlete of the meet: Sadie-Jane Hickson (Guelph)
- Track Performer of the Year – Jessy Lacourse (Laval)
- Field Performer of the Year – Noèmie Jeffrey (Laval)
- Rookie of the Year – Avery Pearson (Saskatchewan)
- Student-Athlete Community Service Award – Kendra Farmer (Saskatchewan)
- Women’s Coach of the Year - Jason Kerr (Guelph)