Honouring Legacy: The 2024 Emilie Mondor Invitational

Amidst the backdrop of Burnaby Mountain, athletes from high schools and colleges gathered once again to compete in the Emilie Mondor Invitational, a meet dedicated to commemorating the memory of an exceptional runner whose legacy continues to inspire. Emile Mondor, an athlete who studied and trained at Simon Fraser University, left an indelible mark on the sport before tragically passing away in a car accident at the age of 25. This annual event serves as a fitting tribute to her remarkable achievements and spirit.As the early outdoor season continues in British Columbia, athletes went out to test their speed, fitness and strength as they continue to build towards a competitive spring and summer. Here are just some of the highlights:

Men's Events:

Ryan Lofstrom took on a number of collegiate athletes in the 100m to place fifth with a time of 11.09 seconds in his season opener. Jacob Hall of SFU won the event in a time of 10.80 seconds. In an 800m field stacked with talent, Riley Simmonds of the Valley Royals placed ninth place with a time of 1:57.47. Not far behind was Charlie Mlotshwa of the Prairie Inn Harriers, who clinched 12th place with a time of 1:58.39. Mlotshwa showcased his versatility by doubling back for the 1500m, where he claimed an impressive second place finish with a time of 3:58.24. Simmonds also doubled back, finishing fifth with a time of 4:00.47.

Will van Schagen took on some barriers in the 400m hurdles, capturing second place with a time of 57.18 seconds. Luc Primeau, another high school talent, secured fourth place with a time of 58.92 seconds. In a longer race with barriers, Samuel May of the Valley Royals faced off against none other than Olympian John Gay in the 2000m steeplechase. While Gay claimed victory in 5:37.52, May took third place with a time of 6:15.08.

In the realm of throws, Gursher Gabri and Roman Yeterian displayed their strength. Gabri asserted his dominance in the U16 shot put, recording an impressive mark of 17.84m, while also showcasing his skill in the hammer throw with a distance of 60.25m. Meanwhile, Yeterian excelled in the U20 shot put, achieving a mark of 14.33m.

Women's Events:

Makenna Self held her own against collegiate competitors in the 200m, securing a fifth place finish with a time of 25.93 seconds. Adrianna Buitelaar also showcased her talent amongst the collegiates, claiming fourth place in a competitive 800m field with a time of 2:19.10. She then doubled back for the 1500m, where she secured third place with a time of 4:34.42.

Marlena Tresnjo soared over the high jump bar, clearing an impressive height of 1.80m to secure victory by a significant margin. She has now also achieved the World U20 standard. In the realm of field events, Jasleen Nagra  leapt to a mark of 5.26m in the long jump, securing second place. Talia Phangura asserted her dominance in the U18 3kg throws, claiming victory in both the shot put and hammer throw with marks of 15.09m and 53.19m, respectively. Elise Drake showcased her strength in the open 4kg hammer throw, securing second place with a best throw of 49.69m.

The Emilie Mondor Invitational once again proved to be a platform for athletes to honor the legacy of a remarkable individual while showcasing their own talent and dedication to the sport. Onto the next...