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Tree Awarded 4th Place in Controversial 3000m Race

| Track & Field

Author: Hugh Mullally

Five Thunderwolves were in action at the OUA Track and Field Championships over the weekend, being held at York University.

Full Results

Competing in the ‘middle distances’ of 1500m and 3000m, the ‘Wolves sought to mark new season and/or personal bests during the event, with some success.

For Kevin Tree, his race in the 3000m came only 5 days after he competed in a 10km race (with team Canada) in the 33+ degree climes of Colombia. Despite the quick turnaround, Tree kept pace with the front of the pack.

As the race got into the last two minutes, things began to get chippy, as four runners from Guelph formed a wall at the front of the pack. After they had established a slightly slower pace, a runner from Queen’s attempted to pass on the outside, only to be intentionally blocked by the rear Guelph runner.

Video (things get interesting around the 6:30 mark)

A few moments later, Kevin Tree attempted to pass the crowd of Guelph runners, only to be elbowed by a Gryphon as he attempted to to pass on the outside. Blind-sided but not beaten, Tree would battle on, and have one more collision with another Guelph runner before he finished the race in 5th place.

As the race concluded, the Gryphons legged out the final 300 meters and stretched out their leads, having saved their energy with their team approach to the race and placed 1-2-3-4.

After a protest was issued by Lakehead coach Kip Sigsworth, the fourth place Gryphon was disqualified and Tree was bumped up to a 4th place finish.

Sean Lewis placed 23rd in the 3000m’s 2nd group.

The men’s team from Guelph went on to win the OUA team title, which spans across all track and field events.

Lakehead’s other indoor track athletes competed hard as well, albeit with less controversy.

For the Lakehead women’s team, Callie Roelfsema and Mary Strain ran in the 3000m and 1500m races, both setting personal bests. Roelfsema placed 16th, Strain 19th in the 3000m, and 27th and 29th, respectively, in the 1500m race.

Mason Quarrell placed 11th in the 1500m race on Saturday.

Coach Kip Sigsworth:

“I was really happy with how Tree ran on Friday. We were a bit worried about how he would recover from his hard 10km in the heat in Columbia only 5 days ago but he competed very well.”

“Callie and Mary also ran well running PB’s in both the 3000m and 1500m. Mason had a strong run the 1500m as well.”

“Overall a good meet – we had 3 of the 5 athletes competing this weekend run season best times and everyone competed well.”


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