The York University Lions track and field team will compete at home for the last time this season, at the 42nd annual York Open at the Toronto Track & Field Centre on Saturday, Feb. 2.
The Lions men’s and women’s teams are both having stellar seasons thus far. The men are ranked No. 5 in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and several members of both squads have already surpassed the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and CIS qualifying standards.
The teams are also coming off an impressive weekend at the McGill Team Challenge last weekend, where the men finished second out of 26 teams and the women finished seventh.
This weekend’s meet will feature student-athletes and club athletes from across Ontario. For a complete schedule of events, click here.
Many members of the Lions track and field team are favoured to finish in the top three of their respective events this weekend, including five who are the top seeds heading into the meet.
The Lions are favoured in three of the four throwing events. Daniel Novia of Mississauga is the top seed in the men’s weight throw, Umar Khan of Markham holds the top spot in the men’s shot put and Cynthia Appiah of Toronto is favoured in the women’s shot put.
Novia, the defending CIS champion in the weight throw, has won every event he’s entered this season and will look to continue that trend this weekend. Teammates Eric Brathwaite of Brampton and Chris Preece of Cookstown round out the top three seeds in the weight throw.
Appiah, who won silver medals in the shot put and weight throw at the CIS championships last season, is also seeded second in the weight throw at the York Open.
Fifth-year sprinter Olu Ogunde of Toronto and rookie Evander Cobbold of Toronto lead the Lions contingent on the track. Ogunde is the top seed in the 60 m and Cobbold holds the distinction in the 300 m. Ogunde has reached the final of the 60 m at the OUA championships in each of the past three seasons and will be looking to use the meet this weekend as a tune-up for the championships at the end of the month.
The Lions also have two relay teams that are seeded first at their respective distances: the men’s 4 x 200 m and the men’s 4 x 400 m squads.
For the first time since 2007, the Lions will be on the road for the OUA championships, which this year will be hosted by the University of Windsor Lancers Feb. 22 to 23. After this weekend the Lions will have one more major meet on Feb. 8 to 9 when the Lions travel back to Windsor for the Windsor Team Challenge.