Myrand wins bronze, McGill relays look good at NY track meet
PHOTO OF CHARLENE PUEL BY GARY RUSH
NEW YORK CITY- McGill's Melanie Myrand of Pointe Claire, Que., won a bronze medal in the College division of the women's 3000 metre race at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, a two-day event billed as America's biggest indoor collegiate track & field meet.
Myrand, a third-year integrated nursing major was clocked in nine minutes, 57.69 seconds, which currently stands as the 10th best time in the CIS this season. Finishing ahead of her on the podium was Duke's Katelyn Bastert (9:41.18) and Princeton's Alexa Glencer (9:48.29).
The McGill women's 4x800 relay had the best performance of the weekend, finishing fifth overall in a competitive field. Their time of 9:07.40 was the third fastest time produced by a CIS quartet this season.
The McGill squad was composed of sophomores Catherine Drouin-Audet of Repentigny, Que., in the lead-off position and Charlene Puel of France, plus freshmen Aimee Castro of Ottawa and Sarah McCuaig of Waterloo, Ont., who ran the anchor leg.
Castro was impressive filling in for veteran Heather McCurdy, who had ran the third leg at the McGill Challenge the week before, when the foursome was clocked at 9:18.32. Castro shaved some three seconds off McCurdy's lap time.
"It was a very productive meet and has always been a big plus for us to attend," said McGill head coach Dennis Barrett. "It opens some eyes for our athletes when going up against top NCAA teams. Our relays performed especially well here. We didn't run them as hard in practice last week and it paid off. They looked fresh."
The 4x400 quartet completed their race in 3:5.76 and now rank seventh fastest in the CIS. Also, the Martlets 4x200 relay ran a time of 1:44.84m which ranks as the eighth best CIS performance this season.
Puel's performance in the 1000m (2:55.68) cracked the CIS Top 10 list in that event, which means that if the regular season ended today, she would be in position to grab the last berth in that event
Hayley Warren is also on the bubble as her time in the 60m hurdles (9.05) ranked 10th in the CIS.
On the men's side, Maxime Beaumont-Courteau finished eighth in the College Division of the pole vault, clearing a height of 4.50m, which currently ranks as the eighth-best performance in the CIS this season.
Also finishing eighth in his event was rookie high jumper Justin Darlington with a leap of 1.99m, well shy of his school record (2.03m) set last month.
"Justin has raw talent but is inexperienced and needs coaching to work on his technique," explained Barrett. "He was hampered at this competition by the fact that both of our jumps coaches were unable make the lengthy road trip due to other commitments."
Many eyes were focused on national team sprinter Hank Palmer, a native of Lachine, Que., and newcomer to McGill this season. Palmer finished a disappointing 18th in the preliminaries of the men's 60m championship division, posting a time of 6.86 seconds, which failed to qualify for the finals. It also fell short of his school record (6.78) set at the recent McGill Team Challenge meet on Jan. 30.
"Hank was bothered by a stiff neck and had planned to withdraw from the race but I convinced him to run," said Barrett in defence of his star pupil.
Only two competitions remain on Barrett's calendar before the Quebec championships, to be hosted by McGill, Feb. 27-28. The Ottawa Winter Nationals meet is slated for Feb. 13, followed by the second McGill Open meet of the season on Feb. 19.
McGill's Top Performances at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational:
(8th) high jump Justin Darlington, 1.99m
(8th) pole vault Maxime Beaumont-Courteau, 4.50m
(11th) 4x800 relay (Daniel Kramer, Ken Douglas, Ian Macdonald, Connor Bays), 7:53.76
(15th) 4x400 relay (Connor Bays, Tyler Levy, Ian Sandler, Lucas Lafourcade), 3:26.29
(18th) 60m hurdles Dong Liu, 8.66 seconds
(18th in prelim) 60m Hank Palmer, 6.86 seconds (failed to qualify for finals)
(18th) 1000m Daniel Kramer, 2:30.37
McGill Athletics & Recreation