Lions track and field team wins national bronze medal

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The York University Lions men’s track and field team won the team bronze medal at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships on Saturday, March 9. The team was competing at the national meet held at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

The squad had a tremendous third day, scoring 41 points to move all the way up to third place from eighth, where the Lions sat after day two. The Lions finished with 59 points and tied the defending CIS champion Western University Mustangs. The University of Guelph took the team banner while the University of Windsor was second.

Leading the way on the third day of competition was David McKay, who won the gold medal in the pole vault with a jump of 4.90 metres. The second-year student-athlete was favoured heading into the meet and had an impressive showing that was just shy of his personal best. He won by five centimetres over the silver medallist.

Teammate Vince DiBacco saved his best performance of the season for the most important meet, clearing 4.55 metres to finish in fifth place.

The Lions picked up another two medals in the shot put courtesy of Eric Brathwaite who won silver and Umar Khan who brought in a bronze medal. Brathwaite threw a big personal best of 16.85 metres in the fourth round to move up to second place, while Khan’s best distance of 16.71 metres also came in the fourth round.

The medals were the first for both Brathwaite and Khan after each had come close in previous attempts. Brathwaite finished fourth in the weight throw on Friday, while Khan was fourth in the shot put last year.

Overall, the Lions won five medals at the CIS championships. During the meet, Daniel Novia successfully defended his CIS title in the weight throw with a second straight first-place finish. The third-year thrower dominated the competition with a best throw of 20.22 metres.

Rounding out the medals was Cynthia Appiah, who picked up a silver in the shot put, capping off her successful CIS career with her fifth national medal as a member of the Lions. She achieved a 14.22-metre distance on her last attempt of the meet to jump into second place and win her second consecutive silver medal in the event. She also finished fourth in the weight throw on Thursday afternoon.

Several other Lions just missed out on earning medals. Andrew Heaney and Ryan Charlton finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 600-metre event earlier in the afternoon. Both runners joined teammates Birko Montinat and Ayo Agusto to finish in fourth place in the 4 x 400 metre relay in a time of 3:19.01.

Earlier in the meet Heaney also ran in the 1000 metre final, finishing in sixth place in a time of 2:28.73.

Other Lions in the top 10 included Dahn Pratt in the triple jump, Kelsey Desjarlais in the 600m and the men’s 4 x 800 metre relay.

Pratt recorded an eighth-place result with a personal-best jump of 13.87 metres, Desjarlais was ninth in a time of 1:33.75 on the first day of competition. The relay squad of Chris Pallotta, Harishan Karunenthiran, Muad Issa and Charlton was ninth on Friday.

The Lions women’s track and field team finished in 12th place with 13 points, all of which were scored by Appiah.