Serving as the selection trials for the IAAF World Championships and very important stepping stone for the road to Tokyo 2020, the 2019 Canadian Track and Field Championships were full of upsets and exciting races. Saturday and Sunday held the most excitement for Gee-Gee alumni with six final appearances and two medals.
The men's 800m final was the first to showcase a Gee-Gee on Saturday evening. Stephen Evans ran a very smooth and clean semi-final to earn a spot on the line in the final next to Canadian record holder Brandon McBride. The final was quickly strung out with a fast pace and while Stephen tried to put himself in contention for a medal the gap to the top three was just too large. Stephen finished his first ever outdoor championship final in sixth place.
Evans would then close out the championship with a gold medal performance with Ottawa Lions team mates in the 4x400m relay. The relays are run by outdoor track and field club team mates, and Evans teamed with Gee-Gees alum Saj Alhaddad and Andrew Heffernan, along with Carleton student-athlete Sebastian Saville to earn the gold.
The relays overall were very successful for the Ottawa Lions and by extension for the Gee-Gees: 2019 uOttawa team members Mary Ollier, Maeliss Trapeau, and Rebecca Brennan joined up with Ottawa Lions' veteran Svetlana Martynova to win gold in the women's 4x400m relay. Kevin Nault and Tim Valentine were the two Gee-Gees reps on the Lions 4x100m team that also claimed gold in the open 4x100m. Quinn Lyness was the lone Gee-Gee on the silver medal winning U20 4x400m team.
Saturday evening also saw three Gee-Gee alums qualify for the sprint hurdles finals. Farah Jacques qualified in the women's 100m hurdles, while Kevin Nault and Segun Makinde qualified in the men's 110m Hurdles. Both finals played out with dramatic finishes. Makinde captured a silver medal in the 110m Hurdles final, finishing second to Canadian decathlon record holder Damian Warner. Kevin Nault placed sixth in his first outdoor National Championship final.
In one of the weekends' most exciting finishes, 2016 Olympian Farah Jacques placed fifth in the 100m Hurdles final with a season best. While the 2018 bronze medallist was looking to finish on the podium, the top five women of the race were spread out by only three one hundredths of a second.
Sunday morning saw more action for Gee-Gee alums. Saj Alhaddad made a late push in the final straight of the 400m hurdles to earn his second consecutive silver medal in the event, narrowly missing the gold by two one hundredths of a second. 2019 Gee-Gees team member Mary Ollier qualified for her first National Championship final in the women's 400m Hurdles, placing seventh.
Full results can be found here - https://tf.deltatiming.com/2019-canadian-championships#d-2019-07-25