Carlton grad competing at U Sports nationals this week
To set a Canada West record in track and field is a major accomplishment.
To break a 35-year-old mark that was set by a Canadian Olympian in the process is something else entirely.
Prince Albert’s Karson Lehner did just that at the Canada West championships in Saskatoon on Feb. 21 as the Saskatchewan Huskies athlete won the 300-metre dash in a time of 33.07 seconds.
Cyprian Enweani, who represented Canada at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, set the previous mark of 33.50 seconds in 1985.
“To be mentioned in the same sentences as him is an awesome feeling and something that’s really humbling,” Lehner said.
“I had a ran a few times that were close to the record earlier in the season, so I made a major push for it in that race. I can’t really describe how happy I was and just how I surprised I was when the time came up.”
The Carlton grad, who is in his third season with the track team and studying computer science, also had ran a personal best time of 6.81 seconds in the 60m dash on his way to winning a silver medal.
“That race was a blast to compete in,” Lehner said. “There were so many guys that could have won that race and it came to a thousandth of a second.
“It was a phenomenal weekend for our entire team. The girls’ team won the Canada West points title for the second straight year and the guys’ put up a really good battle as well, but we just couldn’t quite close the overall gap there on (the) Calgary (Dinos).
With the Canada West record in his back pocket, Lehner has been hard at work to prepare for the U Sports national championship, which takes place in Edmonton this week.
“There are a lot of incredible athletes from all across Canada at that event so the stakes are going to be a little higher, which is all the more reason to run a little bit faster,” Lehner joked.
“This will be my third year going to the met so I have a better idea of what to expect going into Edmonton. All of us on the team have different goals of how far we want to jump or how fast we want to run and we’ve been practicing all season to accomplish those goals.”
Lehner will compete in the 60m dash on Thursday, the 300m race on Friday and the 4x200m relay race on Friday and Saturday.