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RECAP: Gee-Gees at Athletics Canada National Championships

Monday July 10, 2017
Sekou Kaba jumping hurdles.
Athletics Canada/Claus Andersen

The Athletics Canada Track and Field National Championships landed in Ottawa last week, giving multiple Gee-Gees athletes and alumni the chance to shine on the national stage in their home city.

Among many standout performances Gee-Gees alumnus Sekou Kaba led the way, winning his second consecutive national silver medal in the 110m hurdles. Kaba, an Olympian in 2016, won his heat in the semis before fighting through a messy final. At 13.65, Kaba was .04 seconds back of the national champion, Johnathan Cabral, and the same distance ahead of Damian Warner in third; all three men represented Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Tania Bambi was the top finisher among current Gee-Gees. The Communications student won her qualifying heat in the 100m hurdles to advance to the semi-finals. Her personal best time of 13.80 (with a 1.6 wind advantage) in the semi was good for a tenth place finish overall. Next up for Bambi will be a trip to Ivory Coast for the Jeux de la Francophonie, July 21-30, where she will represent Team Quebec.

Also in the 100m hurdles Devyani Biswal placed seventh overall, reaching the final after ranking fourth in the semi-final round with a personal best 13.51 time in her heat. The 2016 U SPORTS gold medallist and Gee-Gees athlete of the year fell back to 13.75 in the final. Biswal and Kaba will also head to the Jeux de la Francophonie, as part of Team Canada.

Recently graduated Gee-Gee Charlotte Gardner raced in the 800m semi, finishing 22nd overall with a time of 2:09.54. She reached the semis by running a 2:09.88 race in the qualifying heats. Current uOttawa student-athlete Madison Clarke narrowly missed moving forward in the 800, placing seventh in the qualifying heats.

Stephen Evans reached the semi-finals in the 800m after posting the tenth best time in the qualifiers. In the semi, the political science student and Ottawa native placed sixth in his heat and 15th overall with a personal best time of 1:51.74.

Gee-Gees Olympian Oluwasegun Makinde ran a 10.54 in his 100m heat and placed eleventh in the 200m with his 21.45 result, reaching the semi-finals in both events. Also in the sprint events, alumnus Brandyn Martineau was thirteenth in the 200m qualifying round and 22nd in the 100 qualifier.

Marie Innocent was the Gee-Gees top finisher in the 400m, ranking 16th in the semi-final round with her time of 57.38. Alumnus Gift Okankwu and third-year Human Kinetics student Jecica Joseph also advanced to the semis, while Pryia Narine and Marie-Eve Dahms competed in the qualifying round.

Current Gee-Gees Scott Hancock and Jonathan Halpenny competed in the senior men’s long jump qualifier with Hancock jumping 6.96m to finish tenth; 7.40m or a top four finish was the standard to move on.

Heading into her second year as a Criminology student at uOttawa, Ty Coulter earned a fifth place finish in the U20 women’s hammer throw. Progressing as the competition went on, Coulter threw 49.86m on her fifth attempt. 

The Canadian Track and Field Championships will return to Ottawa’s Terry Fox Athletic Facility next year for the 2018 edition.