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HIGH ACHIEVERS: Former gymnast Keira Christie-Galloway made right choice when she picked track

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Keira Christie-Galloway at the 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships. Photo: Steve Kingsman

By Martin Cleary

By the time Keira Christie-Galloway reached 14, she knew she had outgrown gymnastics. But what’s the next step for a young athlete accustomed to training and competing? Let’s try track and field.

Christie-Galloway made an excellent choice, pursuing the discipline of sprint hurdles. In eight years, she has won six OFSAA (Ontario high school championship) medals, earned two American university scholarships and has been assigned to three Canadian teams.

In her three high school seasons at St. Matthew, she was the respective junior and senior 80- and 100-metre hurdles champion at OFSAA and a triple silver medallist in long jump.

Christie-Galloway transferred to Glebe Collegiate Institute for her senior year and concluded her OFSAA career with her 3rd straight hurdles title and her second gold over 100 metres. Want to know what’s more interesting?

As a Grade 10 junior, she broke the OFSAA 80-metre hurdles record (11.24) owned by Jessica Zelinka, who finished 4th in heptathlon and 7th in the 100 m hurdles at the Olympics. In her senior debut, she erased the OFSAA 100-metre hurdles record (13.33) of Perdita Felicien, a future world indoor and outdoor hurdles champion.

Christie-Galloway enrolled at the University of Ottawa in 2017 and joined the Gee-Gees’ team, but never competed, accepting an athletic scholarship to Iowa State University in January 2018. She was a Cyclone for one year, but what a year.

Making an instant impact, the Ottawa Lions Track-and-Field Club athlete broke the Cyclones’ 60-metre hurdles record, lowering it to 8.17 seconds to win the BIG 12 Conference title as a freshman. She added the outdoor 100-metre title (school record 13.10) for an unprecedented school double.


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At the NCAA outdoor championships, Christie-Galloway was 16th in the 100-metre hurdles (second team All-American). She also has represented Canada at the 2019 Pan Am Games, 2019 FISU Games and 2016 world U20 championships.

Keira Christie-Galloway competes in the U20 Women’s 110m hurdles semi-final during the 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility. Photo: Steve Kingsman

After an impressive year at Iowa State, Christie-Galloway decided to transfer to Arizona State University, which meant she had to sit out last season. In her first three indoor competitions in 2021, she is doing well.

In a pair of meets in Texas, the Sun Devil earned back-to-back thirds in 60-metre hurdle races at the Ted Nelson Invitational and the Texas Tech Invitational. She posted a seasonal-best 8.32 seconds (heat) in the latter meet.

The sophomore sprinter ran a season-best 8.31 seconds to finish fifth in the 60-metre hurdles final at the recent Arkansas Qualifier.

Meanwhile, other Ottawa Lions’ athletes are faring well on the university indoor circuits. Senior shot putter Tommy Nedow of Southeastern Louisiana University won the LSU Purple Tiger Meet (15.13 metres) and LSU Louisiana Invite (16.47 metres).

Junior sprinter Lauren Gale, a two-time Mountain West Conference indoor champion, won the Air Force Invitational women’s 400 metres in 54.08 seconds, and captured the 55 metres in 6.94 seconds at the Power Meet in Laramie, Wyoming.

Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 48 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.

When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.

Martin can be reached by e-mail at martincleary51@gmail.com and on Twitter @martincleary.


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