By Martin Cleary
Ottawa’s Keira Christie-Galloway is in the running for a medal in the women’s 100-metre hurdles at the Pan-Am Games in Santiago, Chile.
But she’ll likely have to post a personal-best time to be called to the podium as five of the finalists have run under 13 seconds. Christie-Galloway’s five-month-old, personal-best time is 13.01 seconds.
The Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club athlete qualified for Wednesday night’s final by placing third in her semifinal on Tuesday night in 13.36 seconds. American Alaysha Johnson won the first semifinal in 12.99 seconds, while Greisys Roble of Cuba was second in 13.16 seconds.
“I felt good. I went into the race thinking I’ll run my own race and execute,” Christie-Galloway told High Achievers in a phone interview. “I got out and had a clean race.”
Christie-Galloway, 23, has been assigned lane two for the final.
“My plan for the final is to keep doing what I do, run relaxed,” she added. “I never think about my lane. I don’t mind any lane. I just want to run my own race.
“It’s hard to say (if she can run under 13 seconds). I’m not crossing that out of the books. I’m happy to be able to be in the final for Canada and I’ll try my hardest.”
Christie-Galloway ended her post-secondary track career in style at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. She’s also working as a student coach for the Lopes in 2023-24 as she works to finish her MBA in business administration in December.
At Grand Canyon, she broke the school’s 100-metre hurdles outdoor and 60-metre indoor hurdles records and won both finals at the 2023 Western Athletic Conference championships.
Christie-Galloway, who attended St. Matthew High School and Glebe Collegiate Institute, also was the first Grand Canyon hurdler to qualify for the NCAA outdoor track and field championships as she twice ran 13.08 seconds at a regional meet to make the grade for the national finals. At the NCAA championships, she didn’t finish her semifinal, when she tangled with the third hurdle.
Previously, Christie-Galloway attended Iowa State University and Arizona State University. As a freshman at Iowa State, she won the Big-12 Conference women’s 100-metre hurdles title in 13.10 seconds.
At the 2023 Canadian outdoor championships in Langley, B.C., she placed fifth in the women’s 100-metre hurdles final in 13.31 seconds.
PERTH’S AMY MILLAR 5TH IN SHOW JUMPING’S OPENING ROUND
Amy Millar of Perth and her 14-year-old gelding Truman had a clean ride in their first individual/team round and earned a top-five placement on the opening day of equestrian show jumping.
Their performance left them in fifth place with a score of 76.29 seconds. Brazil took the top two spots as Marlon Modolon Zanotelli was first at 72.87 seconds and Pedro Veniss took second at 73.40 seconds.
Millar also was the top Canadian as teammates Mario Deslauriers and Emerson were 12th at 80.65 seconds, Beth Underhill and Nikka Vd Bisschop finished 13th at 80.91 seconds and Tiffany Foster and Figor were 17th at 81.68 seconds.
The scores of Millar, Deslauriers and Underhill earned them 9.62 points for the team competition, which left them behind leader Brazil at 4.32 points and Colombia at 7.29 points.
On Wednesday, each rider and horse is slated to have two rounds of individual jumping, which also will serve as the final two rounds for the team competition. The top riders and horses from Wednesday’s two rounds will qualify for Thursday’s final two individual rounds.
The teams that finish on the Pan-Am podium will earn berths for their country in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
EUGENE WANG REACHES MEN’S TABLE TENNIS SINGLES SEMIS
Former Ottawa athlete Eugene Wang of Aurora, ON., won two men’s singles matches to advance to Wednesday’s scheduled semifinals, which guaranteed him a bronze medal.
Wang, who earlier earned a bronze in mixed doubles with Mo Zhang, started slow, but finished strong in his quarter-final victory over Nicolas Burgos of Chile. The 43-minute match saw Wang rally for a 7-11, 11-7, 9-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 win.
In his round-of-16 morning match, Wang defeated Gaston Alto of Argentina 8-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-7, 11-3 in 33 minutes.
CANADA SCORES BIG IN WOMEN’S, MEN’S WATER POLO VICTORIES
The Canadian women’s water polo team won its second consecutive game in Group B in dominating fashion, turning back Cuba 23-3.
Goalkeeper Jessica Gaudreault of Ottawa didn’t allow a goal and made two saves in her 16 minutes and 14 seconds in the net. She shared the goaltending duties with Ana Vulpisi.
Gaudreault also won the opening sprint for ball possession to start the second quarter, had one counter-attack shot and one blocked shot.
Floranne Carroll, a former Capital Wave player, took two shots and had one steal.
The Canadian men’s team bettered the women’s team’s offensive output by one goal against Cuba as it stormed to a 24-6 win to improve to 2-0 in Group B.
Ottawa’s Bogdan Djerkovic scored Canada’s opening goal at the 18-second mark of the first quarter and also added one goal in each of the second and third quarters. Aleksa Gardijan of Gatineau notched a penalty shot goal and a steal.
REBECCA HELLER REBOUNDS WITH 3 8TH-PLACE WINDSURFING RESULTS
Rebecca Heller of Dunrobin had a much better day on the water, completing three of her four races in the women’s windsurfing iQFoil competition.
After not finishing her first eight races and not starting race 9 in the first two days of competition, Heller placed eighth in races 10, 11 and 13 on Tuesday. She had a DNF result in race 12.
In the overall standings, Heller is eighth out of 10 windsurfers with 112 net points.
EQUIPMENT MALFUNCTION HAMPERS SURFER LINA AUGAITIS
Lina Augaitis, a former multi-sport athlete from Ottawa, not only had to battle her nine other competitors in the women’s surf race on Monday, but also she had to fight with a course buoy.
The buoy got the better of her and the Coldstream, B.C., resident lost her chance for a medal.
Here’s her story in her own words:
“I raced and was in fourth place on my second lap of three, when my leash (which attached her board to her leg) got entangled with a buoy. It took me a long time to try and untangle it and in the end had to release it from my board and leg as I could not get it off the buoy.
“In that process, I lost all my places. It was such an unfortunate equipment entanglement for me as I was starting to catch up with third place. I ended up ninth because of this.
“I’m pretty disappointed that I could not showcase my paddling to everyone, but sometimes this happens in sports.”
Augaitis finished ninth in 20 minutes, nine seconds, while American Candice Appleby won the gold medal in 15:24.9.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 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 High Achievers “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 email@example.com and on Twitter @martincleary.
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