York track & field recruits compete at Pan-Am Games

York recruits Alecia Beckford-Stewart of Brampton, Ontario and Chris Theriau of Kentville, Nova Scotia will represent Canada at the Pan American Junior Track and Field Championships, which began Thursday in Windsor.

The three-day international competition, which runs through Sunday, features more than 600 athletes aged 19 and under from 40 different countries. This year’s event marks the 25th anniversary of the games as Windsor joins Sudbury (1980) and Winnipeg (1993) as the only Canadian cities to host the event.

Beckford-Stewart, a psychology major, will compete in the heptathlon at the games. In August, she will represent Ontario at the 2005 Canada Summer Games in Regina where she will compete in the 100m hurdles and heptathlon. Earlier this summer, Beckford-Stewart captured a silver medal in the heptathlon at the Junior Nationals.

Theriau, who will be studying biology and chemistry at York, is entered in the 110m hurdles, an event he finished second in at the Canadian Junior Nationals. Like Beckford-Stewart, Theriau will also represent his province at the 2005 Canada Summer Games.  He will compete in the 110m hurdles, the triple jump and 4x100m relay.  Theriau is a recipient of a York Entrance Scholarship.

“The addition of these two national calibre student-athletes illustrates our program’s commitment to excellence and high performance,” said Colin Inglis, York track & field head coach . “We look forward to both making an immediate impact this season within the Ontario University Athletics (OUS) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and becoming cornerstones within our program in the coming years.”

Last season, York picked up six medals at the CIS Championships in Winnipeg and 11 at the OUA Championships in Windsor.

This article was submitted to YFile by Stephen Reid, information assistant in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Sciences.