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Thunderwolves relay team burning up the track

Women’s 4 x 400 metre squad has the fifth fastest time in the country heading into the OUA championships in Windsor next weekend.
Aly DaSilva speeds down the track after taking a handoff from Sydney White during a Lakehead Thunderwolves track and field practice on Feb. 14.

THUNDER BAY – The Lakehead Thunderwolves 4 x 400 metre women’s relay team is making its presence felt ahead of the 2024 Ontario University Athletics track and field championships.

The quartet of Aly DaSilva, Tia Lampo, Megan Bryson and Amy Stieh set a new program record and the fifth-fastest performance in the country this season on Feb. 9 - with a time of 3:50.8 at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston.

“That was kind of an unexpected meet for us,” Bryson said.

“We didn’t know that we were going down there until about a week before the meet and when we were there . . . we really nailed our relay.”

DaSilva said the team itself had some pretty high expectations heading into this season, especially as Lampo was coming back from an injury.

“Tia’s one of our strongest 400-metre runners. To have her around last year was something that we had to make a lot of adjustments with our team,” DaSilva said.

“Megan, who normally just competes in long jump, started competing with us in the 400 and ran super quick times, which is something we didn’t expect, so that kind of boosted our expectations.

“We thought we would do well this year, but I think we just kind of surprise ourselves a little bit more each time we race with how much we can do.”

Bryson agreed with her teammate’s assessment.

“We started off the season with a bang and our team has really gelled together ever since,” Bryson said. “Our base training was really good and it’s been great to see that work pay off in our results.

“We’ve kept that momentum up and now we’re excited for our championship season.”

This year has also been one of change for Bryson, as the Thunder Bay product transferred to Lakehead for her studies after previously competing for the Toronto Varsity Blues.

“I did a high school training group with the team and coach Joe (McDonough) so I had a unique experience coming here with knowing everyone through that,” Bryson said. “It’s been nice to be back home.”

The Thunderwolves’ next meet is the OUA championships in Windsor on Feb. 23 and 24.

The top two finishers in each event at the competitive automatically advance to the U Sports national championship meet in Winnipeg from March 7-9.

“I think everyone on our team is just really looking forward to competing,” Bryson said.

“Lakehead is more than just a school that shows up and participates. We’re a school that can compete and get those top finishes.”

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