Relay team strikes national gold for second straight year

The York University Lions men’s 4-by-200-metre relay team of Randolph Fajardo, Tyrone Halstead, David Mayer, Olu Ogunde and Dontae Richards-Kwok successfully defended its gold medal at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) track & field championships on Saturday, March 13 at the University of Windsor.  

The Lions crossed the finish line in a time of 1:17.34, just ahead of the second-place University of Western Ontario Mustangs and more than a full second ahead of the bronze-medal winning University of Windsor Lancers.

The gold medal in the relay capped off a successful weekend for the Lions. The men finished fifth in the team standings and the women were seventh, both up three places from their respective results last year, thanks to a combined nine-medal performance.

Heather Hamilton and Kristin Obrochta won York’s other gold medals in the pole vault and weight throw, respectively. Hamilton won with a jump of 4.23 metres to set a new CIS record and capture her second straight first-place finish in the event.

Obrochta won the weight throw on the first day of competition with a toss of 17.76 metres and shared the podium with teammate Cynthia Appiah, who picked up the bronze medal. It was Appiah’s first of two medals at the meet as she went on to win the silver in the shot put on Saturday, while Elizabeth Petrov won her second straight medal in the event by capturing the bronze.

Other Lions multiple medallists included Halstead and Richards-Kwok, who both picked up individual silvers to go along with their relay gold. Halstead finished second in the 60-metre run to record his third consecutive podium finish in the event. His time of 6.65 seconds tied a York record that was set in the 1980s. Richards-Kwok won his first individual medal at the CIS championships with a second-place showing in the 300-metre run.

Rounding out the medals for the Lions was Chris Theriau. He won the silver medal in the 60-metre hurdles to put an exclamation point on a stellar interuniversity career with his first medal at the CIS championships. He crossed the finish line right next to the University of Regina’s Justin Baker in a time of 8.06 seconds but a photo finish revealed Baker was .004 ahead to claim the gold medal.

All York gold and silver medallists were named CIS all-Canadians after the meet.