Lane Britnell defends gold at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport track and field championships in Winnipeg

Lane Britnell pole vaulting at the Canada West championships earlier this season.

Lane Britnell captured his second consecutive national gold medal March 10 at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport track and field championships in Winnipeg.

The University of Saskatchewan Huskies pole vaulter cleared 4.95 metres to beat out University of Western Ontario Mustang Matt Diston’s 4.90-metre vault and notch his third national medal in as many years competing.

The height fell well short of his personal-best of 5.15 metres, however, as well as the 5.03-metre vault he recorded two weeks ago at the Canada West championships.

It was the Huskies’ third gold medal of the weekend.

Third-year pentathlete Keegan Sharp upset University of Ottawa Gee-Gee Mark Chenery by 35 points in the first day of competition on March 8 after a late burst in the 1,000-metre competition pushed him passed Chenery and solidified his first-place 3,846 points in the pentathlon.

Fourth-year Lincoln Crooks added to Sharp’s success on the second day of competition after clearing 2.04 metres in the high jump and capturing his first-ever CIS gold medal.

The three first-place performances, along with Cossy Nachilobe’s bronze in the triple jump, underlined the Huskies men’s eighth-place team finish.

Saskatchewan’s women’s team — despite lacking a gold medal winner — just missed the podium after landing fifth of the 21 competing schools.

The Canada West’s female track athlete of the year Sharai Siemens won a silver medal for the Huskies in the 300-metre run and, along with teammates Morgan Sawatzky, Amanda Banks and Katrin Ritchie, finished second in the 4×400-metre relay.

Siemens, alongside Sawatzky, Ritchie and Veronika Smits, put up the best time in the 4×200-metre race but were disqualified after protest from the University of Windsor Lancers. The judges ruled that Ritchie had impeded a Lancer racer’s lane, causing the racer to fall.

Jodi Souter, who was the only other Huskies woman to medal, brought home bronze in the 3,000-metre race.

Souter was honoured by the CIS prior to the championship with the Student-Athlete Community Service Award for her strong work both on and off the track.

The four-time CIS academic all-Canadian and agriculture graduate student from Pleasantdale, Sask. volunteers for the Canadian Cancer Society, the Huskie Athletics Council and helps motivate adolescent girls to strive for success with the Go Girl program.

Souter, a fifth-year, also competes on the Huskies cross-country team.


File Photo: Raisa Pezderic/The Sheaf