The McGill Martlets and Redmen track teams had a solid showing at the CIS Championships this past weekend at York University. Overall, the Martlets finished 13th of 21 teams overall, and the Redmen slotted in at 17.
The first day of the meet proved to be exciting for McGill as senior pentathlete Helena Reinfels clinched a silver medal with a score of 3686 points, finishing just behind Kaleigh Hole of the Western Mustangs.
“In all honesty it’s all still pretty surreal,” Reinfels said of her podium finish. “It’s only my second year doing the pentathlon, so I’m still learning a lot with every competition…last year I ended ninth at CIS. This year I’m second, and I definitely came up as a surprise for my competitors, which is pretty neat…it just leaves me extremely motivated.”
Reinfels, a geography major managed the highest podium finish by a Martlet at a CIS meet since 2005 while simultaneously breaking a McGill record for the pentathlon—a record Reinsfeld had already broken at the McGill Team Challenge in January, and previously held by Alana Battison. Reinfels also managed the best individual result of a Martlet track athlete since 2003. Currently, she holds the RSEQ record in the pentathlon.
“Breaking records is something that I find a very humbling experience,” Reinfels explained. “I know how much I’ve worked to get where I am [….] Alana [Battiston], the previous record holder, was actually my training partner last year and one of my close friends, so it makes it almost more special to me to be able to keep up her hard work and determination.”
McGill lay dormant the second day of the meet, tallying zero podium wins, but rallied for the last event on Sunday, the final day, in the men’s 4x400m relay. Ryan McLelland, Ethan Wilkinson, Vincent Parent-Pichette, and Javier Montalvo propelled McGill to a third place podium finish with a time of 3:17.45. Saskatchewan Huskies won gold in the event, and the Toronto Varsity Blues finished second.
Overall, the Windsor Lancers won the men’s CIS championship, while the Blues won the women's championship.
“At the end of this weekend, looking back, I think we have a lot to be proud of,” said Reinfels of the McGill track team’s overall performance. “Everyone was working really hard and gave it their best and that’s what matters. If you can walk off the track with an empty tank, that’s what counts.”
Stat of the meet:
0.19 of a second was the distance between the bronze medal winning Redmen and silver medal Varsity Blues, as Toronto just edged out McGill in the men’s 4×400 m held on Sunday. Saskatchewan decisively won the event by almost a full second.
Moment of the meet:
Reinfels’ McGill record breaking pentathlon performance on the first day of the meet gave McGill momentum heading into the rest of the weekend.
“I remember being at the CIS Championship back in my first year and watching the girls running the 300 meter and being in awe of what they were able to push themselves to do. I was so inspired […] and now, this year when I was getting into my blocks for the 300 meter final, I was just thinking ‘go out there and leave it all out on the track’ with a flashback to watching those girls four years prior, and realizing I had done it and had come in full circle…I certainly am not satisfied for the long term and don’t plan on hanging up my spikes for some time. I still have a few more goals to reach, but am more than proud and extremely happy with the way this season unfolded” – Reinfels on how her track career has come in a full circle from her first to senior year, allowing her to achieve her goals and continue to strive for more.