The brand new Irving Oil Fieldhouse in Saint John, N.B., hosted the 2022 U Sports Indoor Championship from March 31 to April 2. The top Canadian university runners put on a show as Guelph Gryphons defended their indoor titles for a fourth straight season. The Gryphons capped off an impressive three-day stretch led by middle-distance runner Sadie-Jane Hickson and sprinter Zoe Sherar, who both took home three U Sports golds.
On Friday evening, Sherar won the women’s 300m just shy of the U Sports record in 37.65, then helped the Gryphons win gold in the 4x200m relay, breaking the U Sports record of 1:36.46. She also claimed gold in the women’s 4x400m relay, running the anchor leg in 54 flat.
Guelph’s Hickson won gold in the women’s 1,000m on Friday, then returned to the top of the podium again on Saturday in the women’s 600m, winning gold in 1:32.14. She ran the third leg of the Gryphons 4×400 relay team, handing the lead off to Sherar to win gold.
🚨 The women's 4×400 meters final standing!
💥 Les résultats du 4×400 mètres féminin !
🥇 @guelph_gryphons – 3.42.65
🥈 @HuskiesTFCC – 3.45.78
— U SPORTS Track & Field (@USPORTSTF) April 2, 2022
At the end of the meet, Hickson was named U Sports Athlete of the meet based on her string of amazing performances over the championship weekend.
University of Laval’s women’s team came into the championship as the favourite to win the distance events, but Western University’s Kate Current shocked the field, pulling away from the Laval contingent of Jessy Lacourse and Catherine Beauchemin in the women’s 3,000m. On Saturday, Current put an exclamation mark on her 3,000m win, taking home the gold in the 1,500m to complete the indoor distance double.
Women’s teams’ results:
1) Guelph Gryphons – 123.5 points
2) Saskatchewan Huskies – 76 points
3) Western Mustangs – 69 points
On the men’s side, Guelph’s Alec Purnell won two individual silvers and a 4x800m relay gold to help Guelph bring home their eighth straight men’s championship. The 1,500m was a tactical affair that came down to a photo finish, as Purnell and Laval’s Jean-Simon Desgagnés dipped for gold at the line. Ultimately, Purnell came up just shy of gold in 3:49.95, behind Desgagnés’ 3:49.94. On Friday night, Purnell anchored Guelph’s relay team to gold in the men’s 4x800m relay.
🚨 The men's 3000 meters final standing! What a performance from @rougeetor!
💥 Les résultats du 3000 mètres masculin ! Le doublé du @rougeetor 👏
🥇 Thomas Fafard (@rougeetor) – 8.14.32
🥈 Jean-Simon Desgagnés (@rougeetor) – 8.14.38
— U SPORTS Track & Field (@USPORTSTF) April 1, 2022
Another dominant performance of the weekend came from Thomas Fafard of Laval in the men’s 3,000m, who had just come off a silver medal-winning performance for Team Canada last weekend at the Pan-AM XC Cup in Brazil. The race got off to a slower start, before Fafard and Desgagnés picked up the pace over the final stretch, distancing themselves from the field to go one-two. Andrew Davies of McMaster was third in 8:17.55.
Men’s teams’ results:
1) Guelph Gryphons – 97 points
2) Toronto Varsity Blues – 86 points
3) Western Mustangs – 61 points
To view a full list of results.