SFU Brings The Heat In Beantown, Earns Team Of The Week
Simon Fraser took victory in the men's distance medley relay at the John Thomas Terrier Classic in Boston with a Division II-leading time of 9:42.77.
Simon Fraser took victory in the men's distance medley relay at the John Thomas Terrier Classic in Boston with a Division II-leading time of 9:42.77.

Monday, January 30, 2023

PORTLAND, Ore. – Simon Fraser came back from Beantown and the John Thomas Terrier Classic with a haul of top-three finishes, including a conference record and a win, to claim GNAC Team of the Week honors.

Sophomore sprinter Marie-Éloïse Leclair headlined the weekend on Saturday by becoming the first GNAC athlete to run under 24 seconds in the women’s 200 meters at Boston University. Leclair finished in third with a time of 23.80 seconds that bettered the previous record of 24.09 seconds set by Alaska Anchorage’s Jamie Ashcroft in 2017. The time is the best run by a Canadian this season and the fourth fastest in Division II this season.

Leclair’s record-setting performance was backed up by another third-place finish in the 60 meter dash where she finished in a time of 7.46 seconds. That time is second in conference history only to her own time of 7.45 seconds, which Leclair set earlier in the season. Leclair also ran the second leg of Simon Fraser’s distance medley relay team, along with freshman Selin Tasdemir, sophomore Elizabeth Vanderput and junior Megan Roxby, which finished in second-place in a time of 11:52.60 on Friday.

Junior Charlie Dannatt opened his week by moving up to third all-time in GNAC history with a time of 7:58.32 in the 3,000 meters on Friday. Dannatt finished 21st in a deep field and was the eighth-fastest collegiate runner in the event. His time marks only the third time a GNAC runner has broken the eight-minute mark in the event.

Dannatt closed out his week on the men’s distance medley relay team as the anchor leg along with sophomores Aiden Good, Felix Allen and Jordan Schmidt. The team took the victory in Boston with a Division II-leading time of 9:42.77.

Both Leclair and Dannatt received GNAC Track Athlete of the Week recognition for their performances and head coach Brit Townsend points to the pair as leaders for the Red Leafs.

“Charlie and Marie-Eloise led the team with fantastic top national performances, as well as the men’s DMR team, who looked to have secured their spot at the NCAAs,” Townsend said. “The team of Aiden Good, Felix Allen, Jordan Schmidt, and Charlie Dannatt ran an outstanding time to capture the title in this very high-level meet.”

Sophomore Sydney Kania soared to a second-place finish in the high jump, clearing a height of 5 feet, 5 inches. Kania also finished 13th in the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 4 inches. Both marks are NCAA Championships Provisional qualifiers.

The Red Leafs also had a group of athletes compete at the UW Indoor Invitational in Seattle. Sophomore Claire Bosma finished eighth and recorded an NCAA Provisional qualifier in the women’s 400 meters with a time of 59.06 seconds while Kennedy Primrose earned an NCAA Provisional mark in the women’s triple jump with a leap of 36 feet, 4.25 inches.

Townsend is pleased with the strong results at this point in the season with limited chances to make an impact ahead of the GNAC Indoor Track & Field Championships which take place on Feb. 20 and 21 in Spokane, Washington.

“I am so proud of the way these athletes stepped up in only their second competition of the indoor season,” Townsend said. “We have very few opportunities for them to qualify for the GNAC meet and the national championships so they know that they must take advantage of every chance they get.”

Simon Fraser is set to return to competition at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston and the Husky Classic in Seattle on Feb. 10 and 11.