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PREVIEW: Gee-Gees track vying for medals at U SPORTS National Championship in Winnipeg

Photo: Jojo Qian
Photo: Jojo Qian

The Gee-Gees track team will be sending 11 student-athletes to the 2019 U SPORTS National Championships in Winnipeg hosted by the University of Manitoba on March 7-9.

Leading the way for the Gee-Gees will be 2017-18 U SPORTS 600m silver medallist Stephen Evans. Building off last years' breakout season, Evans took home the gold medal in both the 1000m and the 600m at the OUA Championships in Toronto two weeks ago, qualifying him for both distances at nationals this week.

Based on this year's best times in various U SPORTS meets, Evans is currently ranked first in the 1000m with a best of 2:23.21, and second in the 600m, with a best of 1:18.26.

Joining Evans in Winnipeg will be Madison Clarke, making her third straight appearance to the U SPORTS Championships, as she will race in both the 600m and and 1000m events this year. Clarke has finished ninth in consecutive years in the 600m race. Clarke finished fifth in the 600m final at the OUA Championships in a time of 1:31.78.

Running alongside Clarke in the women's 600m event will be Maeliss Trapeau and Mary Ollier. Trapeau, a second-year Biotechnology student raced in the same event at last years' nationals where she just missed out on a place in the final heat. This will be Ollier's first U SPORTS Championship as a member of the Gee-Gees after running for the Queen's Gaels in previous years.

Also making her second-straight appearance at nationals for the Gee-Gees is Christina Hertner, who will be competing in the women's shotput event. Hertner placed tenth at last year's championship in the same event, with a throw of 12.13 m. The third-year International Development and Globalization student set the Gee-Gees women's shotput record last year with a throw or 13.05 m.

The Gee-Gees will also be competing in various women's relay races, most notably the 4x800m race, where the team of Trapeau, Sophia Skorenky, Marie-Eve Dahms, and Keili Shepherd won the bronze medal at this year's OUA Championship. Trapeau and Skorenky will be joined by Ollier and Sydney Smith to compete in the 4x400m event, while Ollier, Skorenky, Smith, and Dahms will compete in the 4x200m event as a team.

All the action from Winnipeg can be streamed live at USPORTS.live (paid subscription). See USPORTS.ca for full event schedule and timing.