Peter Millman and Aaron Hernandez led the way with gold medal performances as the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns track and field team capped the 2015 university athletic season with an outstanding performance at the CIS Track and Field Championships in Windsor, Ont.
Millman captured gold in the shot put while Hernandez claimed his second successive national gold medal in the triple jump event. Both athletes entered the CIS championship meet as Canada West champions.
"It was a great weekend; everyone performed as expected and it's obviously great coming home with two national champions,” says Horns head coach Larry Steinke. “It's not only a nice way to cap the season, it sets the tone for next season as well."
For Millman, a third-year Truro, Nova Scotia product, the CIS title was sweet redemption. In the past two CIS meets he'd failed to reach expectations and come up shy in his quest for the medal podium. He would not be denied in Windsor.
“It’s extra special (this year) considering I did quite horrible, actually, the last two years," Millman told the Truro Daily News.
Millman had to come from behind to claim the shot put gold, using his fifth throw of the event to post a 17.18-metre distance, one centimetre ahead of Marc-Antoine Lafrenaye-Dugas of Sherbrooke University. The throw was also only five centimetres shy of the personal best he set only three weeks ago at the Canada West Championship. Millman then sat back and watched as Lafrenaye-Dugas attempted two more throws to get back into the gold position, but faulted on each attempt.
“The fifth throw was awesome,” Millman told the Daily News shortly after his win. “I knew I had to go for it on that one, I couldn’t play it safe anymore. It’s just amazing right now.”
Millman's teammate, Ryan Sommer, finished sixth with a throw of 15.54 metres.
Hernandez, the defending CIS Champion and reigning CIS rookie of the year, continued his dominance in the triple jump. His jump of 15.33 metres was an astounding 40 centimetres better than the rest of the field. During his six jump sequence, four of Hernandez's five recorded jumps would have been good enough for the gold medal victory.
With all three of their competing athletes scoring points, the Horns accumulated 26 total points, which was the third best among Canada West schools and the top among the three Alberta schools participating at the championships. It gave the men's team a 10th-place ranking nationally.