13 Jun 2016 The Vancouver Sun STEVE EWEN
De Grasse leads
star-studded field at
Five more reasons to take in the Harry Jerome Track Classic at Swangard Stadium
1 Andre De Grasse
Canadian Andre De Grasse, centre, is shown winning the 100-metre sprint at the Oslo Diamond League meet last Thursday.
A representative for the sprinter from Markham, Ont., told Jerome organizers last week that he plans to run both the 100and 200-metres at their meet. The 21-year-old won a bronze in the 100 metres at the world championships in Beijing last year, becoming the first Canadian to make the podium in that event since 1999. He ran a 10.07-second time in the 100 m on Thursday at a meet in Oslo, Norway, which is the fastest time for a Canadian this year. He’s also the Canadian record holder in the 200 m, thanks to his 19.88 last summer at the Pan Am Games in Toronto.
2 Derek Drouin
The high jumper from Corunna, Ont., is the reigning world champion, and he won the lone athletics medal for Canada at the London 2012 Games with his bronze. Drouin, 26, set the Canadian record with his 2.40-metre effort in Des Moines, Iowa. in 2014, and he jumped 2.29 m Friday in Doha, Qatar.
3 The Power Couple
Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Humboldt, Sask., and her husband, Ashton Eaton, of Medford, Ore., are among the best in the world at track’s multi-sport events, the heptathlon and decathlon, respectively. TheisenEaton, 27, who attended the University of Oregon, took silver at the worlds last year, equalling her 2013 effort in Moscow. She won the pentathlon title at the 2016 indoor worlds in Portland in March. She’s expected to compete in the 100-metre hurdles and long jump at the Jerome. Eaton, 28, the world record holder in the decathlon and reigning champion for both the worlds and the Olympics, is expected to run the 100 metres and compete in the high jump at Swangard.
4 The Walk Stars
The Vancouver-based trio of Inaki Gomez, Evan Dunfee and Ben Thorne combined with Alberta’s Mathieu Bilodeau to win silver in the men’s 20-kilometre event at the 2016 world race walking team championship in Rome in May. All four are slated to compete in the 5,000-metre event at the Jerome. Dunfee, 25, who’s originally from Richmond, and Gomez, 28, who moved to Vancouver from Mexico when he was 11, finished first and second in the 20K at the Pan Ams last summer, while Thorne, 23, who’s originally from Kitimat, took a bronze in the event at the worlds last summer.
5 Comeback man
Jeremy Wariner, 32, had his first injury-free season in four years in 2015, and he’s trying to add to a resume that includes four Olympic medals, including gold in the 400 metres at Athens 2004. The native of Irving, Texas, has six world championship medals as well. Wariner has battled back from knee surgeries (2009 and 2011), turf toe (2010), a torn right hamstring (2012), a sprained knee ligament (2013) and a torn adductor muscle and a torn soleus muscle (2014). He’s run the fastest of anyone in the Jerome 400 m field, but his 43.45 personal best dates back to 2007. Vernon Norwood, 24, a Baton Rouge, La., native, is next best, with a 44.44 he ran last April.
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