Ten records were broken at the 20th McGill Team Challenge at the Richard Tomlinson Fieldhouse on Friday and Saturday. The indoor track meet lasted two days and is the largest indoor meet in Canada with 749 athletes representing the 21 universities in attendance. The York Lions claimed the men’s title for the fourth time since the meet’s inception, while the Toronto Varsity Blues won their first women’s title. Guelph had the highest total combined score, with 16 medals between their men’s and women’s teams.
Overall, McGill collected one gold, two silver, and two bronze medals between the Redmen and Martlets, good enough for sixth- and ninth-place finishes respectively. Third-year Assistant Coach Jim McDannald stated that he was happy with his teams’ performances.
“I thought the McGill women and men had a good showing in front of the home crowd,” he said. “A lot of tough competition from around Canada comes to the McGill Team Challenge, so the meet is a great way to see how we stack up as we head towards the championship portion of our season.”
McGill’s lone gold medal came in the men’s 4x400m relay, with freshman Ryan McClelland running first leg, followed by juniors Steven Murray from Burlington, Ontario; Vincent Parent-Pichette from St. Paul de Joliette, Quebec; and finally Javier Montalvo from Closter, NJ in the anchor leg. The team ran a blistering 3:17.99, the fastest university 4x400m in Canada this year, and just 0.16 seconds away from setting an all-time McGill team record. Parent-Pichette and Montalvo were both members of last year’s silver medal 4x400m squad at the CIS Championship, and are looking for even more this year.
“We are really proud of the men’s 4×400,” McDannald said. “With Steven [Murray] healthy and Ryan [McClelland] making an immediate impact, [the team is] hungry for the top spot on the podium.”
Strong performers from McGill included fourth-year neuroscience major Dylan Golow from Barrie, Ontario, finishing second in the pentathlon with 3,597 points. Fourth-year electrical engineering major Riley van Ryswyk of Surrey, British Columbia cleared 4.83m in the pole vault, setting a personal best and qualifying for the CIS Championships this March. His attempt was good enough for second place overall, and nearly bested the McGill record of 4.85m.
On the Martlets side, geography major Helena Reinfels from Puslinch, Ontario and accounting major Caila Kucheravy from Winnipeg both earned podium finishes. Reinfels took bronze in the pentathlon with 3,146 points in what was only her second ever university pentathlon competition. Kucheravy also came in third in the long jump with a distance of 5.63m, a personal best.
Other records broken over the weekend included six by Laval’s Charles Philibert-Thiboutot from Quebec City, three in the 1000m and three in the 1500m. He won the 1000m with a sizzling 2:21.02, good enough to shatter Quebec, McGill Team Challenge, and Tomlinson Fieldhouse records, all by at least a full second. His 3:43.21 in the 1500m was good enough to again set records in the same three categories but by even larger margins. The Western Mustangs women’s 4x200m relay also set a record of 1:40.48, winning the race and qualifying for the CIS Championships.
“It’s always great to see members of the team raising their game and running personal bests,” McDannald said. “This team, the athletes, coaches and support staff work hard to help everyone reach their potential. So whether it’s a podium finish or somebody taking five seconds off their 3k time in 47th place, we are excited.”
McGill’s last home meet is on Feb 14, followed by the championship portion of the season.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Dylan Golow set the McGill team record in the pentathlon, whereas he did not. The Tribune regrets this error.