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HIGH ACHIEVERS: Ottawa Lions fall one place shy of winning Ontario U16 athletics team title

HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic

By Martin Cleary

Talk about parity among the top clubs under the Athletics Ontario umbrella. At the last three provincial championships (July 22 to Aug. 8), the team title has been decided by two points or less.

The Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club was strong in the meet-ending relays to score a one-point decision over Flying Angels Track and Field Club (108-107) during the Ontario U20 championships.

At the provincial open championships, Royal City Track and Field Club of Guelph won the final men’s 4×400-metre relay by one second over the runner-up Lions to capture the team title (113-111).

The Lions needed to place first or second in the men’s 4×400-m relay for the title at last weekend’s Athletics Ontario U18 finals, but a third-place result saw London Western Track and Field Club hold its top spot (116.5 to 115).

The Lions scored the majority of their points with two first-place finishes, two seconds and two thirds in individual events and one first and three thirds in the relays.

The Boris Beasts Throwing Club of Ottawa, which is run by former world hammer record holder Boris Zaitchouk, had one first-place result and was 29th with 13 points. Beckwith Athletics Club had a third and took 31st at 11 points.

Louise Stonham (left). File photo

Steeplechase runners led the medal parade for the Lions as Louise Stonham won the women’s 2,000-metre race in 7:21.77, while teammate Gillian Porter was second in 7:29.90.

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Adriano Padoin-Castillo captured the men’s 2,000-metre steeplechase by a 0.21-second margin over Nathan Paul of Laurel Creek Track and Field Club, 6:36.87 to 6:37.08. The Lions had six runners in the two steeplechase races.

Amanda Van Brabant was second in the women’s 3,000 metres in 10:05.40, while Stonham was fourth in 10:44.04. Van Brabant also placed fourth in the 1,500 metres in 4:39.85.

Audrey Goddard cleared 1.45 metres for a third-place finish in the women’s high jump, while Thomas Kukla-Colby took third in the men’s 400-metre hurdles in 56.63.

The Lions recorded a first in the women’s 4×800-metre relay, 9:46.21, and thirds in the women’s 4×100-metre relay, 51.17, women’s 4×400-metre relay, 4:03.18, and men’s 4×400-metre relay, 3:37.67.

Oscar Xu of Boris Beasts was the men’s hammer champion. He tossed the five-kilogram ball and chain 48.24 metres on his first throw, which exceeded his distances at three Twilight Meets this season.

Gavin Redwood-Wheeler of Beckwith had a field day, competing in shot put, javelin and discus, but winning the bronze medal in hammer with a distance of 41.18 metres.

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

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

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