St. Marys native also seventh at U-20 Pan American Games in Costa Rica
By Pat Payton
MONTREAL, Que. – July, 2019 will certainly be a special memory for Brooke Overholt.
The 19-year-old St. Marys native won gold in the women’s 400-metre hurdles here at the U-20 Canadian track and field championships, July 25-28. That accomplishment came just one week after Overholt competed for her country at the Pan American U-20 track and field championships.
The Canadian meet was held at the Claude-Robillard Sport Facility. Heats for the 400-metre hurdles were run on the Saturday, and the eight-runner final was held the following day (July 28).
Overholt, competing for the London Legion track and field club, won the race by a second and a half in 59.29 seconds. She was the only runner to break the one-minute mark. Helena Jovic, of Ottawa Lions, was second in 1:00.86, and Shaleah Colaire, of Durham Legion, was third in 1:01:16.
“I believe I led the race for the most part,” Overholt told the Independent. “I haven’t watched the video yet.”
For Overholt, it wasn’t a personal best time in the event. As an NCAA freshman competing for Cornell University, she ran the 400-hurdles in 58.90 seconds at the Ivy League championships at Princeton earlier this year.
It was Overholt’s third time competing in the U-20 Canadian championships. “This was my last year in the U-20s,” the former St. Mikes athlete noted. “I went in focusing on winning the race. I had the best time in Canada in the rankings going into the championships. I just wanted to execute that, and do the best I could do because it was my last race in the U-20s.”
Seventh at Pan Am Games
The 2019 Pan American U-20 track and field championships, meanwhile, were held in San Jose, Costa Rica, July 19-21.
Overholt finished seventh in the women’s 400-metre hurdles with a time of 59.43 seconds. An athlete from Brazil won the gold in 55.94 seconds. The previous day, Overholt was fourth in her heat in 59.36 seconds.
“It was a great experience, just being at the meet and seeing all the different events,” she said. “I knew some of the girls from the U.S. and raced against them. Going in, I knew the girls in the Pan Am championships were a lot faster.”
Overholt was one of 47 athletes (25 women and 22 men) selected to represent Canada. She was one of 23 Ontario athletes on the Canadian team.
The biennial (Pan Am) track and field competition celebrated its 20th anniversary this summer and featured athletes from 31 countries across the Americas.