Warriors take silver at USports track and field Hannah Blair takes four of five pentathlon events with another silver in the high jump


This past weekend was the final event of the season for the Waterloo Warriors, the USports Track and Field meet, where they were able to secure medals to bring back home, with Hannah Blair’s impressive pentathlon performance, and Immanuel Onyemah’s silver in the men’s 60-metre sprint. This is an event which hosts the top collegiate athletes from around Canada where they compete for the top spot in their respective sports and categories. The Waterloo Warriors went into the USports event with a relatively small team — competitors from Ontario such as the Toronto Varsity Blues and the Western Mustangs had a larger roster, but this did not dissuade the Warriors. 

March 9 was the Warriors’ best day. It opened with the women’s 60-metre hurdle, where Hannah Blair was slightly off the pace, just 3/10ths behind Calgary Dinos’ Sienna MacDonald. MacDonald’s 8.46 was good for the gold, but Blair’s strong performance put her at third. Joely Welburn of Regina Cougars took second place by finishing in 8.55, 2/10ths ahead of Blair’s 8.79. Later in the day, Immanuel Onyemah took second place in both the qualifying round of the men’s 60-metre sprint and converted that to a silver medal with a 6.67-second sprint, just 6/100th’s shy of Usheoritse Istekiri’s 6.61.

Blair continued her pentathlon in impressive form, where she took second place in the high jump, making the 1.71-metre jump but was a ways from Madison Lawrence of the Manitoba Bisons, who made the 1.80-metre jump. The 1.71 metre was the next 0.3 metre step above the 1.68 metre set by Holly Harrison of the Alberta Golden Bears. Blair did not just stop there though; in the women’s high jump, outside of the pentathlon, Blair managed to get a 1.74-metre jump in on her second attempt but failed to make the 1.77 metre, securing another second-place finish in the category.

The pentathlon continued with the women’s shot put, where Blair placed fifth. Her 11.05-metre shotput was her lowest finish in the pentathlon, which was once again the highest placed in Ontario regardless. Ahead of her, Shae Ledevehat of Memorial University’s Sea-Hawks finished in fourth, with a 0.24-metre advantage over Blair. The podium places of the event went to Madisson Lawrence of Manitoba Bisons in third place with a distance of 11.47 metres, Sienna MacDonald of the Dinos in second place with 12.04 metres, and the win went to Lorena Heubach, who threw a 12.81-metre. Heubach’s throw had the largest split between her and the person below on the score sheet, with a 0.77-metre gap.

Blair continued this form in fashion, taking a third-place finish in the 800 metres of the women’s indoor pentathlon. It was a hard-fought third-place finish; Welburn of the Regina Cougars won the 800 metre with a 1.52-second lead to Madisson Lawrence — Welburn finishing her 800 metre in a 2:17.44 and Lawence completing hers in 2:18.96. Just over three seconds away, Blair crossed the finish line in 2:22.22, just .51 seconds ahead of Rebecca Parker of Guelph Gryphons, who crossed the line in fourth place in 2:22.73, the shortest split between two competitors in the event. Blair was once again the highest-placed Ontario athlete in her event.

Lastly, Blair also took third place in the women’s indoor pentathlon’s long jump. Again, the highest placed Ontario athlete in the event, Blair jumped a 5.63 metre on her first attempt and improved by a centimetre on the second, with a 5.64-metre jump. Unfortunately, Blair was unable to improve on her final attempt due to a foul. MacDonald’s second attempt was a 5.65 metre, which meant that Blair had to settle for third. Welburn took the win in this event as well, with a large 0.29-metre split between her and MacDonald, jumping a whopping 5.94 metres.

This was the final event for the Waterloo Warriors’ 2022/23 season, which saw some great accomplishments — reaching the OUA semi-finals in multiple sports, as well as taking individual wins and podiums in a plethora of OUA and USports events. They will hope to continue and build on this impressive form in the upcoming 2023/24 season.