Track stars from across the country descended on James Daly Fieldhouse this past weekend for the ninth annual Bison Classic. The home side had multiple podium finishes, outpacing the competition to win the event with 310.5 points. This is Manitoba’s fourth straight win at the Bison Classic.
Day one was full of great performances, Yussuf Abduselam captured first place in the men’s 3000 metre with a time of 8:53.12, edging out Derek Patterson of Lakehead University by a fraction of a second. The herd also placed first in both the men’s and women’s 4×800 relay – clocking in at 7:43.44 and 9:13.79, respectively.
The Friday events also saw Sasanie Wanigasekara and Jaime Wong come in at first and fourth in the women’s triple jump. Manitoba placed second in the women’s and men’s 4×200 relay, and Shayna Giesbrecht placed fifth in the women’s 3000 metre.
Manitoba cleaned up during the men’s triple jump event, with Oyinko Akinola taking second with a 14.61 metre jump. Manitoba also had athletes place third, fourth, sixth, eighth, 10th, and 11th.
Akinola also had a good second day, placing fourth in the men’s long jump with a 6.85 metre finish
“I thought it was an OK weekend,” he said.
“A season best in the triple jump which was OK. We’re trending in the right direction, while long jump wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be, but still working on stuff and should be good for Canada West.”
The Bisons continued to shine on day two. Tayo Babalola took the gold in women’s 300 metre, and Luc Deleau was just 14 milliseconds short of first for the men. Simon Berube and Nicola Odaisky both placed second in the 1000 metre for their respective genders. Brooke-Lynn Boyd walked away with first in the women’s shot put, and Clement Sackey placed second among the men.
Things continued to trend up for the herd during the second session of the day. Rebekah Sass won the women’s 600 metre, while Matthew Van Schepdael placed second for the men. Brianna Tynes placed second in the women’s 60 metre, while Marcel Dufault and Syed Aoun went second and third for the men.
Mix in the Bisons going second and third in the men’s 4×400 relay, and Deric Kornelson taking second in the men’s 1500 metre race, and the Bisons cruised to a team win. Their 310.5 points was far ahead of the 255 posted by the University of Alberta in second place.
The host program left the weekend with seven first-place finishes, 13 second-place finishes, and eight third-place finishes.
We’re “pretty happy with the results today,” Bisons head coach Claude Berube said.
“It’s always an exciting meet. To be honest, I’ll have a better look at the results when I get home, but overall we’re progressing in the right direction. A positive meet was exactly what we were looking for, and gave us a good chance to see our Canada West conference.”
Next up for Manitoba will be the Canada West Championship. The program will be playing host on Feb 23-24.
“I think just right now you can’t really do too much,” Akinola said about the upcoming meet.
“It’s about making sure we’re not getting injured, so just try to be healthy for as long as we can. Just work until championship weekend, get good workouts, get intensive, and that’s all it is.”