Men’s Track & Field News

The hometown Manitoba Bisons and Calgary Dinos lead in the men’s and women’s points totals after day one of U SPORTS Track and Field Nationals at the James Daly Fieldhouse.

Manitoba has 18 points following a first and second place finish in the 60 metre dash, while Calgary secured big points in all three scoring events, for a total of 29.

Trinity Western is second in points on the men’s side, with six following a bronze medal from Kenny Blackman Jr. in the 60, at 6.76 seconds, while Laval is in third thanks to five points in the 60 from Julien Bourgault.

Sienna Macdonald and Alyson Edwards both earned their first nationals medals, combining for 16 points in the pentathlon, while Alexis Johnson secured eight points in the weight throw and Dawn Richardson-Wilson brought home five points in the 60 to lead the way for the Dinos.

Western got eight points from Vivian Ogor in the women’s 60, plus six points from Liv Sands in the weight throw and five points from Robin Selkirk in the pentathlon to start the competition in second, with 19.

Rounding out the women’s top three was Laval, with 13 thanks to ten from sprinter Audrey Leduc and three from weight thrower Aisling Tcheutchoua.

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In front of a raucous and passionate local crowd, Bisons 60 metre sprinters Jordan Soufi and Tyrell Davis accomplished something never done in school history, not once, but twice.

Soufi’s gold medal result of 6.69 seconds marked the first time in school history that a Bison men’s athlete has finished first at nationals. Soufi and Davis – who finished second with a time of 6.73 seconds – also became the first Bisons to go 1-2 at nationals in the discipline.

“They’ve been through a lot. I’m super happy that they were able to put it together on the day in front of their home crowd and families,” said assistant coach Gee-ef Nkwonta, who oversees both athlete’s programming.

“It’s awesome for the program. More people see that speed is here. We had two athletes in the final and three in the field. Next year I’m hoping it’s that again, and an even higher number. It’s super awesome to see that the program has gotten to that point. We’ll just take it a day at a time and see what we can do. I’m loving the direction we’re heading with the guys and girls.”

Soufi owns the school record in the 60, at 6.67 seconds, and his gold medal result was the third time he’s ran sub 6.70 in the last two weeks. He showcased his power, exploding in the final ten metres to edge Davis, who was right beside him in the lanes and had a spectacular start to take the lead.

“Me and Jordan became training partners last year when I switched into his group in early September. We’ve been working with each other with the goal of going 1-2, and achieving that feels amazing,” added Davis.

“A couple of weeks ago I didn’t know if I was going to be able to race because of a strained hamstring. Overcoming that and a back injury to get the silver medal is awesome.”

Day one began with the women’s weight throw, where OUA champion Phoebe Price-Roberts of Toronto took home gold with a season’s best toss of 17.98 metres on her fifth throw.

The British Columbia native and former NCAA Division 1 standout at Cornell University – who obtained a mechanical engineering degree down south and is continuing her studies at the U of T – was the only athlete in the field to throw above 17 metres, doing so on four occasions.

“I was mostly focused on getting out of my wind quick,” she said. “I’m a pretty slow thrower, so speed is important for me.

“I was really focused on staying relaxed, because in big meets like this I tend to tighten up and get a bit nervous, so it was really important for me to stay relaxed and connected and push it all the way through.”

Alexis Johnson of Calgary, the Canada West champ, finished second at 16.94 metres on her first throw. Overall, she broke her old personal best three times during the meet.

Liv Sands, the OUA shot put gold medalist and weight throw silver medalist behind Price-Roberts, finished third, at 16.72 metres on her second toss. She also had a throw that might’ve beaten her OUA comrade, however the toss didn’t count due to a foot fault.

“[Sands] and I are friends. It’s a good rivalry and a good way to push you,” added Price-Roberts.

“I’ve always liked having somebody to feed off of and challenge me and to push me a little bit in the field. It’s been fun competing with her, and she’s an amazing thrower. I know it’s there for her, I’m really excited to watch her throw next year too.”

In the women’s 60 metre, the top three female sprinters in the country brought the noise.

Laval’s Audrey Leduc, Western’s Vivian Ogor and McGill’s Donna Ntambue, ranked first to third entering the meet, finished in that order in the final.

Leduc tied her personal best of 7.21 seconds in the prelims, which she also ran in Glasgow at the beginning of March, and she took the gold in the final with a time of 7.26.

Ogor, the OUA champ, ran 7.33 and Ntambue ran 7.37, with the latter’s time just shy of the McGill record of 7.32, which she set earlier this year.

Rounding out the day one medal haul was the pentathlon, where Sienna Macdonald broke her own Canada West record in the 60 metre hurdles, at 8.16 seconds en route to gold with a final total of 4164 points, a personal best.

Macdonald also hit a personal best in the high jump at 1.73 metres, which was loaded with competition, with five athletes jumping at least 1.61 metres.

Her teammate Alyson Edwards finished third with 3793 points, thanks in part to a second place finish in the final event, the 800, while Rebecca Parker of Guelph earned silver with 3794 points, edging out Edwards after a first place finish in the 800.

“It meant a lot. For the past few years I’ve been coming to U SPORTS with an injury, this is my first time competing in a really healthy state, and I’ve obviously upped my game from past years,” said Macdonald.

“I’m feeling a lot better about my competition style and running a lot faster and jumping a lot higher. I came in here ready to go.”

The action continues tomorrow starting at 1 pm.

DAY ONE STANDINGS

WOMEN’S STANDINGS

  • CALGARY – 29
  • WESTERN -- 19
  • LAVAL – 13
  • GUELPH – 12
  • TORONTO – 10
  • DALHOUSIE – 8
  • MCGILL – 6
  • WINDSOR, REGINA – 4
  • ALBERTA, TRINITY WESTERN, YORK, SASK – 3

MEN’S STANDINGS

  • MANITOBA – 18
  • TRINITY – 6
  • LAVAL – 5
  • MONTREAL – 4
  • ALBERTA – 3
  • WESTERN – 2
  • GUELPH – 1

DAY ONE TOP THREE FINALS RESULTS

PENT

  • SIENNA MACDONALD, CALGARY – 4164
  • REBECCA PARKER, GUELPH – 3794
  • ALYSON EDWARDS – CALGARY – 3793

WOMEN’S WEIGHT THROW

  • PHOEBE PRICE-ROBERTS, TORONTO – 17.98M
  • ALEXISON JOHNSON, CALGARY – 16.94M
  • LIV SANDS, WESTERN -- 16.72M

WOMEN’S 60M

  • AUDREY LEDUC, LAVAL – 7.26S
  • VIVIAN OGOR, WESTERN – 7.33
  • DONNA NTAMBUE, MCGILL – 7.37

MEN’S 60M

  • JORDAN SOUFI, MANITOBA – 6.69S
  • TYRELL DAVIS, MANITOBA – 6.73
  • KENNY BLACKMAN JR., TWU – 6.76