How McGill fared at CIS track & field championship

How McGill fared at CIS track & field championshipMarch 11, 2007 Track and Field

MONTREAL - The Quebec champion McGill Martlets finished a disappointing 14th, as did the Redmen, out of 24 participating universities, at the CIS track and field championships, failing to win a medal.

The three-day event, held at Tomlinson Fieldhouse, March 8-10, attracted sold out crowds in each the final two days.

The two defending national champions from Windsor were both dethroned as Sherbrooke pulled off a stunning upset to win the men's title while Calgary captured the CIS women's banner.

"You have to take what hand you've been dealt, learn from it and hope to do better next year," said a philisophical Dennis Barrett, in his 21st season as head coach at McGill. "We did have four personal bests and a number of seasonal bests over the weekend so that is something positive that we can build on.

"We've had some bad luck with injuries this year and that left us a little short in depth," he added. "For example, on our distance crew (1000m, 1500m, 3000m), we only had two available athletes from the seven women who led us to a silver-medal finish at the CIS cross-country (running) championships last fall."

McGill's best result at the track Nationals came from Keith Esch, an international development studies sophomore out of Lake Champlain, N.Y., who was fourth in the high jump with a height of 1.95 metres. Esch, who stands 6-foot-7 and was recruited to McGill last year as a basketball player for the Redmen, decided to focus on track and field this year and won gold at the Quebec championships with a leap of 1.90m.

On the women's side, Jessica Warren of Oakville, Ont., set personal bests in both the 1000m (2:51.59) and 1500m (4:35.17) races and accounted for eight of the 13 points scored by the Martlets. The fifth-year management student, who previously swam three years for McGill and returned last fall after graduating two years ago, finished fifth in the 1000m and sixth in the 1500m.

"Jess didn't have much experience and confidence in her ability to run the 1500 as she was running that distance for only the second time," said Barrett. "But she performed very well and set two PBs over the weekend."

Warren also ran in the 4x800 relay (where McGill finished eighth) but had the misfortune of someone stepping on her foot in the middle of the race, which tore a three-inch gash in her new track cleats and appeared to be a bit of a distraction for the remainder of her race.

Other personal bests were achieved by Stephen Douglas of Pictou, N.S., who was seventh in the 1000m (2:27.21) and Esther Usborne of Calgary, in the pole vault (3.45m), who went through a scare and ended up with a bloody nose after the bar fell on her at the conclusion of her final jump.

David Faille, a junior from St. Hilaire, Que., who twice broke the McGill record this season in the showcase 60m sprint and was expected to be a medal contender, finished ninth in an exceptionally strong field. He was clocked in 6.89 seconds, just off his school record time of 6.83. Faille was seeded eighth heading into the race, just behind Sherbrooke's Ben Youssef Meité, who surpassed his own season high of 6.82 to upset the field with a blistering 6.66.

The McGill track and field team will get another crack at Nationals next year when they will again host the event. They will be out to halt a Quebec jinx that has seen QSSF teams fail to win a CIS title on their home track in five tries.

Sherbrooke failed to win the CIS banner both times they hosted and McGill has come up empty on all three occasions that they hosted the CIS meet at Tomlinson Fieldhouse.

Mind you, Sherbooke has now won a national championship each time that McGill has hosted!


MEN (14 points):
4th  Keith Esch (Lake Champlain, NY),  High Jump (1.95m)  5 pts
6th  Maxime Esch Beaumont-Courteau (Montreal, QC),  Pole Vault (4.50m), 3 pts 
7th  Stephen Douglas (Los Gatos, CA),  1000m (PB: 4.50m), 2 pts 
7th  David Faille, Andrew Roberts, Brendan Rehal, Blair Bateson, 
	4x400m (3.22.02), 2 pts 
8th  Ken Douglas, Stephen Douglas, Patrick McAuliffe, Andrew Roberts, 
	4x800m (7.47.69), 1 pt 
8th  Patrick McAuliffe (Seattle, WA),  3000m (8.34.11), 1 pt 

WOMEN (13 points):
5th  Jessica Warren (Oakville, Ont),  1000m (PB: 2:51.59)  4 pts
6th  Jessica Warren (Oakville, Ont),  1500m (PB: 4:35.17)  3 pts
6th  Deborah Lightman (Toronto, Ont),  1000m (2:55.27)  3 pts
7th  Esther Usborne (Calgary, Alta),  Pole Vault (PB: 3.45m)  
	1 pt (tied with two others)
8th  Heather McCurdy (Belleville, Ont),  Triple Jump (11.27m)  1 pt
8th  Jessica Warren, Sonia Jean-Philippe, Patricia Muddiman, Deborah Lightman, 
	4x800m (9.16.61), 1 pt 


Earl Zukerman
Communications Officer & Webmaster
Dept. of Athletics
McGill University
475 Pine Avenue W.
Montreal, Que. H2W 1S4

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