Lions storm the track at York Open, Cornell Invitational


Emily Goodwin | Editor-in-Chief

Featured Image: Zeon Bass prepares to hand off to Mark Hutchinson during Friday’s 4x200m relay race. | Courtesy of Jojo Yanjiao Qian/York Lions

The Lions track & field team took a divide-and-conquer approach this past weekend, with the track and throws squad, and some jumpers, defending their home track while many of the jumpers attended the Cornell University Kane Invitational with head coach Raymond Rudder. 

The Lions hosted their annual York Open meet last Friday and Saturday, where universities across Ontario flocked to the Toronto Track & Field Centre to compete.

Multiple Lions athletes finished on the podium at home. Leading the way was pole vaulter Daniel Gleason, who finished second after out-jumping most of the competition at 5.02m. Gleason is currently ranked first nationally with this height.

Holly Taylor came out on top in the shot put, once again finishing first in the event. She also took home a bronze in the weight throw.

Weight throwers Drew Erskine and Jonathan Raspanti finished second and third in the event, respectively.

On the track, middle distance runners Levar Russell and Abdiaziz Ali claimed gold and bronze respectively in the men’s 600m with times of 1:21.11 and 1:22.51.

Both the men’s and women’s 4x200m relay teams finished first. The men’s team, consisting of Zeon Bass, Mark Hutchinson, Tohma Van Bergen, and Ugata Ebikeme, finished in a time of 1:29.88.

The women’s team, comprised of Nicolette Witherspoon, Diana Boa, Alannah Broomfield, and Kimora Harris, crossed the finish line in a time of 1:41.91.

A second Lions 4x200m relay team took home the bronze with 1:34.64. Jaxon Hume, Ian Osakue, George Hana, and Corey Braithwaite were the runners of this team.

South of the border, the women swept the long jump podium. Leah Jones jumped 5.76m for yet another first place finish, while Olivia Henry went 5.49m for the silver. Rasheeda Gurley took home bronze with a jump of 5.28m.

Overall, the Lions recorded 46 season’s best performances and 28 new personal bests.

The Lions will once again split up this weekend, with some of the team heading to Windsor to compete in the Windsor Team Challenge, and with others crossing the border to compete in an NCAA meet in Ohio. 

After another week on the road, the Lions will return home tomorrow to host the OUA Championships on Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22.

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