Guelph Gryphons win men's and women's titles at U Sports championships

WINDSOR, Ont. - The Guelph Gryphons won the women's and men's team titles on Saturday at the U Sports Track and Field Championships.

It's the second straight title for the men and first for the women since 2014.

Kelsey Balkwill of the Windsor Lancers was named championship athlete of the event after collecting four medals, including three on the final day of competition.

On the men's side, Tommy Land of Guelph and Austin Cole of Alberta were named co-athletes of the championship.

Guelph's 4x200-metre relay team set a new track record en route to the gold medal, beating the former mark by one-hundredth of a second at 1:37.97.

In the high jump competition, Maja Naruszewicz earned another gold medal for Guelph with a 1.74-metre performance, while Jordan Bates brought a silver medal to the triple jump with a jump of 12.30 metres.

The Toronto Varsity Blues beat the Lancers late in the day to close the women's team competition in second place. Toronto's Lucia Stafford and Emily Branderhorst won silver medals in the 1,500 metres (4:25.69) and the high jump (1.74 metres), respectively.

Windsor's Balkwill kicked off the day by setting a personal best to win the 600, clocking 1:29.37, before the 4x400 relay team won with a time of 3:42.88. The women also reached the podium in the 4x200m, finishing second.

On the men's side, the Gryphons were almost assured of the championship even before the last day of competition began.

In the shot put competition, the pair of Thomas Nedow and Mark Bujnowski won silver and bronze with respective throws of 15.98 and 15.95 metres.

Guelph also won bronze medals in the 4x200 relay with a time of 1:28.65 and the 1500 when Mostafa Elkurdy crossed the finish line in 3:55.74.

The Alberta Golden Bears finished second in the team standings. The Western Canadian team won the 4x200 with a time of 1:27.35, as well as the 4x400 relay in 3:17.46. Alberta also had a silver medal in the 1,500, with Royden Radowits coming in at 3:55.05.

Laval University's Rouge et Or finished third for a second year in a row. In the shot put, Simon Beaulieu won with a throw of 16.42. Laval also clinched a medal in the 600 when Vincent Duguay clocked a time of 1:19.75, good for third place.

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