Fiona Benson from Dawson Creek, BC had a breakout season in 2015. She moved froma cross country running background at Trinity Western University with coach, Mark Bomba to suddenly breaking 2 minutes in the 800m. She is the 5th Canadian to ever break that barrier. Fiona follows in the footsteps of Charmaine Crooks, Diane Cummins, Melissa Bishop and Jessica Smith. At the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome Track Classic, she will run the 1500m, an event which she broke the Olympic standard twice in Italy last September.
At the Jerome Classic, she will face a strong international field, led by Shannon Rowbury of the USA, a bronze medalist two times at the World Championships and a two time Olympian.
Watch for a resurging Hilary Stellingwerff of Victoria and newcomer, Gabriel Stafford from Toronto and her teammate, Sasha Gollish to make this one of the feature races of the meet. See Fiona Benson's video here
Starting field for 1500m Women
Shannon Rowbury USA 3:56.29
Gabriele Grunewald USA 4:01.48
Lauren Johnson USA 4:04.17
Nikki Hamblin NZ 4:04.82
Hilary Stellingwerff CAN 4:05.08
Fiona Benson CAN 4:05.24
Kate Van Buskirk CAN 4:05.38
Sasha Gollish CAN 4:07.08
Gabriela Stafford CAN 4:07.83
Heidi See AUS 4:08.47
Lauren Paquette-Hagans USA 4:09.86
Mariah Kelly CAN 4:10.30
Bridey Delaney AUS 4:10.32
Katie Wright NZ 4:10.51
Leah O'Connnor USA 4:11.04
Andrea Seccafien CAN 4:11.80
The Jerome Classic will also feature Andre De Grasse of Markham, ON who may be on the threshold of an Olympic medal, which would follow in the footsteps BC sprinters, Percy Williams and Harry Jerome.
Canada took the silver medal at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome, Italy two weeks ago. This team lead by Ben Thorne, Inaki Gomez and Evan Dunfee will attempt to break the current Canadian best over 5000m of 18 minutes 45.64 seconds at the Jerome Track Classic.
Tickets are $25 finish line, $10 general admission are available on line at www.harryjeorme.com. First event starts at 6pm with doors open at 5pm. Opening ceremonies will be at 7:30pm